'Bloodgate' doctor Wendy Chapman faces being struck off

Image caption,
Tom Williams said he asked Dr Chapman to cut his lip after using a fake blood capsule

A doctor at the centre of a fake rugby injury scandal could face being struck off after being summoned to a disciplinary hearing later this month.

Wendy Chapman, the Harlequins match-day doctor, allegedly cut winger Tom Williams' lip to hide his use of a fake blood capsule at a match last April.

The capsule allowed a specialist goal-kicker to be brought on when the Harlequins were trailing Leinster 6-5.

Dr Chapman will go before a General Medical Council panel on 23 August.

The so-called Bloodgate saga, during the Heineken Cup quarter-final which the Harlequins went on to lose, led to a £259,000 fine for the west London club, a three-year ban for the director of rugby and a four-month ban for Williams.

And in September last year, the General Medical Council gave Dr Chapman, an accident and emergency consultant at Maidstone Hospital, an interim suspension.

During the match, Williams chewed a fake blood capsule to fabricate a cut to the mouth.

This allowed substituted fly-half and goal-kicker Nick Evans to return to the field to try to win the match with five minutes remaining.

But television cameras spotted Williams winking towards the bench with "blood" smeared around his mouth.

He later had his lip cut, allegedly by Dr Chapman, to make the injury appear genuine.

At a subsequent European Rugby Cup hearing investigating the incident, Williams said he asked Dr Chapman to cut his mouth after he had used the blood capsule.

Dishonesty claim

In a statement on its website, the GMC said: "It is alleged that Dr Chapman, whilst working as match-day doctor at the rugby union Heineken Cup match, examined TW (Tom Williams) and made statements to deceive others that he had sustained an injury on the field of play.

"It is further alleged that Dr Chapman deliberately cut TW's lip with a scalpel and caused the injury to deceive others that an injury had been sustained on the field of play.

"Additionally, it is alleged that in July 2009, in giving evidence to a disciplinary committee of the European Rugby Cup, Dr Chapman did not inform the committee that she had caused the injury to TW's lip."

It added: "It is alleged that Dr Chapman's conduct was likely to bring the profession into disrepute and was dishonest."

The fitness to practise hearing in Manchester is expected to last two weeks.

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