Williams banned for role in fabricating blood injury (1 Viewer)

Unicron

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RUGBY NEWS: HARLEQUINS WINGER Tom Williams has been suspended for 12 months after being found guilty of his role in fabricating a blood injury in last season’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster at The Stoop. The London club have also been hit with a €250,000 fine, 50 per cent of which will be suspended for two years.
Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards plus two members of the club’s medical team – physiotherapist Steph Brennan and Dr Wendy Chapman – had misconduct complaints dismissed. But Williams and the club were found guilty of fabricating a cut to the mouth in order to allow substituted outhalf Nick Evans to return to the field with five minutes remaining.
Television cameras picked up Williams winking towards the bench with “blood” smeared around his mouth.
Harlequins managed to engineer a late drop-goal attempt for Evans but the New Zealand outhalf was struggling with a knee injury and pulled it wide as Michael Cheika’s side held on for a bruising 6-5 victory on their way to winning the Heineken Cup.
The ruling comes after an independent disciplinary committee reconvened in London yesterday to hear misconduct complaints brought by tournament organisers European Rugby Cup (ERC). The committee also met for two days at the start of July.
Chaired by Robert HP Williams (Wales) and also comprising Pat Barriscale (Ireland) and Dr Stuart Reary (Scotland), the committee heard submissions from representatives of ERC and Harlequins and from a number of witnesses as well as considering further evidence that included broadcast footage from the game, which took place on April 12th.
A statement last night from the ERC read: “The independent Disciplinary Committee found that the club (Harlequins) and Mr Tom Williams were guilty of misconduct under the Heineken Cup 2008/09 Disciplinary Rules by fabricating a wound or blood injury in order to allow Nick Evans (No 10) to return to the field of play.
“It was the view of the committee that this was a very serious offence and one that damaged the reputation of the tournament and of rugby union . . .
“The independent Disciplinary Committee dismissed misconduct complaints against Dean Richard, Harlequins’ director of rugby and a doctor and physiotherapist. Both parties have the right to appeal.”
Harlequins last night questioned how Williams and the club could be found guilty if Richards and the medical staff were acquitted.
A club statement said: “Harlequins are both surprised and disappointed at today’s decision by the ERC disciplinary committee to find Harlequins and Tom Williams guilty of misconduct – particularly so in the light of the acquittal of Dean Richards, Steph Brennan and Dr Wendy Chapman on similar or identical charges.
“The club and the player will consider their position in the light of the written judgement due to be handed down by the disciplinary committee.”
At the time, the incident prompted a heated sideline exchange from the respective management teams.
Afterwards Cheika said: “We didn’t doubt the substitution but we are entitled to check for blood and we weren’t given the opportunity to do that. That’s all we’re talking about.”
This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
 

Unicron

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Moods For Mallards

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How did Richards and the physio/doctor escape punishment? Williams was hardly carrying around a packet of fake blood on the pitch. Seems absolutely crazy.
 

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How did Richards and the physio/doctor escape punishment? Williams was hardly carrying around a packet of fake blood on the pitch. Seems absolutely crazy.

Quite, in fact I think that the coaching staff should have definately got it worse than the player. Williams, if instructed to do that, was hardly in a position to tell his bosses no. If there's any sympathy to be had for any on the quins side it's him.

Still a cheating bastard though.

I assume that had Harlequins gone on to win there wouldn't have been this long a wait for a decision.
 

Unicron

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How did Richards and the physio/doctor escape punishment? Williams was hardly carrying around a packet of fake blood on the pitch. Seems absolutely crazy.

A more appropriate decision appears to have been handed down. Richards banned for 3 years and Williams' ban reduced to 4 months. Judging by the player's statement he looks to have ratted out his boss. Richards also resigned from the director of rugby position at Quins a few weeks ago

Richards banned for three years


_46213598_williams_get_466.jpg
Williams left the field with fake blood pouring from his mouth against Leinster


Former Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards has been banned from coaching for three years for his part in a fake blood injury controversy.
Tom Williams faked a cut to allow fly-half Nick Evans to return to the field in a Heineken Cup tie against Leinster.
Winger Williams's initial 12-month ban has now been reduced to four months.
Quins' fine was increased to £259,000 but European Rugby Cup (ERC) stopped short of the ultimate sanction of throwing them out of this year's Cup.
The original fine was 250,000 euros (£206,000) had been half suspended, but the new amount is payable in full.


Physiotherapist Steph Brennan was handed a two-year ban after an admission of guilt, but the appeal committee dismissed the charge against Dr Wendy Chapman from the club's medical staff.
Former England forward Richards, who resigned from his position as director of rugby at Quins last weekend, was also found to have been involved in four similar incidents, hence the severity of his punishment.
Reacting to his ban, Richards said: "I'm surprised. Three years is a long time but I'll reflect on it overnight.
"I took full responsibility for it. It was a farcical situation, it really was.
"It didn't pan out particularly well on the day. Everybody looked at it and thought, 'That's unreal', which is what I thought on the touchline as well.
"But I had to hold my hands up."
The cover-up is thought to have involved Williams' face being deliberately cut after the Leinster match to hide the fact he had used a fake blood capsule.
Richards said: "I have no knowledge of that. I wasn't party to anything going on there.
"I'm not aware that it did happen. I know that he had a cut but I don't know how it came about because I wasn't in the room."
Richards had not decided whether to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
o.gif
I took full responsibility for it. It was a farcical situation, it really was


Dean Richards

He said: "I'm a little bit shocked, a little bit surprised by it all.
"It seems a little bit disproportionate but, at the end of the day, I'll reflect on it overnight and obviously see where my thoughts are in the morning."
Reading a statement, Williams said: "I sincerely regret the role that I've played in this unacceptable incident that has done so much damage to the image of rugby union.
"I let down my team-mates and the club's fans, and I'll have to live with those actions for the rest of my career.
"In deciding to come clean and do the right thing, I've tried honestly to rectify this mess and repay the good faith shown in me by my friends and family.
"I would like to thank the ERC disciplinary panel for their decision to reduce my sanction and I am relieved that they did this.
"However, I also realise the grave error of judgment that I have made."
He added: "I hope that, as a result of this episode, no player or employee will ever be put in such a compromised position, and if they are then they will always tell the truth, as I had wish I had done from the outset."
The sanction on Richards applies to ERC-organised tournaments, though the ERC will request it is extended to become a worldwide ban.
A decision is still to made as to whether Harlequins will be expelled from this season's Heineken Cup.
The decision, which cannot be appealed against, was made by an independent ERC disciplinary committee in Glasgow late on Monday.
A statement on the club's website said: "Whilst the club are pleased that Tom Williams' ban has been reduced, we feel this is a very significant penalty in terms of fine.
o.gif
I also realise the grave error of judgment that I have made


Tom Williams

"We will now continue with our internal review into all aspects of the business to ensure that we have the most stringent compliance and robust policies and processes in place throughout the club and work towards rebuilding our reputation on and off the field.
"We hope that the club can now draw a line under what has been a difficult few months, learn from it and move on."
Evans had departed injured in the 47th minute of the 6-5 defeat by Leinster before his replacement at number 10, Chris Malone, also went off injured later in the second half.
With time running out, Williams was seen with what appeared to be blood coming out of his mouth, which meant he could go off to be replaced by specialist kicker Evans.
Evans missed a drop goal as the Irish side held out for the win before going on to win the Heineken Cup.
Television pictures appeared to show Williams winking at the bench as he went off.
Leinster were incensed and their club doctor, Arthur Tanner, followed Williams down the tunnel but was prevented from entering the treatment room.
 

FiFi_LaRue

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Much fairer punishments. I can't believe Richards was also involved in other, similar incidents and was allowed to continue unpunished. Glad the physio got a ban too.

If the punishments had been meted out earlier in the year I think Quins being kicked out of the HEC would have been appropraite, but obviously with fixtures already arranged it wouldn't have been advisable for the ERC/IRB to do that, as they'd have left themselves open to litigation from disgruntled fans.
 

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