No further action for Harlequins in 'Bloodgate' scandal

European Rugby Cup are to take no further action against Harlequins over the infamous 'Bloodgate' fake injury scandal.

The ERC board says its disciplinary officer Roger O'Connor has brought misconduct charges against Quins, officials and staff "as far as is feasible in this instance".

Former Quins rugby director Dean Richards was banned for three years, ex-club physiotherapist Steph Brennan received a two-year punishment and Quins wing Tom Williams landed a four-month suspension following the 'Bloodgate' saga and subsequent attempted cover-up.

The bans, imposed by an ERC independent appeals committee, followed last season's Heineken Cup quarter-final between Quins and Leinster when Williams bit on a fake blood capsule as Richards attempted to get goalkicker Nick Evans back on the field to try and win a game Quins eventually lost 6-5.

ERC directors held further discussions today, after digesting the full written judgements of the appeals committee hearing that were published last week.

Quins might still have not heard the last, though, of arguably English rugby union's most shameful saga.

The Rugby Football Union will now review available documentation - and then assess if there are grounds for them to investigate behaviour of Quins, its officials, players and staff not dealt with by the appeals committee.

In a statement, ERC said: "The ERC board believe that the ERC disciplinary officer has brought the misconduct charges against Harlequins and/or its officials as far as is feasible in this instance.

"The board have received confirmation from the Rugby Football Union that they will review the documentation available, with a view to considering if there are grounds for the RFU to investigate the behaviour of Harlequins and its officials, players and staff that was not dealt with by the independent disciplinary and/or appeal committees.

"The board have directed the ERC disciplinary officer to pass on to the RFU, where appropriate, relevant information gathered in ERC's investigation and hearings."

ERC also revealed they had been contacted by the General Medical Council seeking information regarding Doctor Wendy Chapman's involvement in the disciplinary process.

Chapman was Quins' match-day doctor for the Leinster game.

In his evidence to the appeals hearing in Glasgow last month, Williams alleged that Chapman - at his suggestion - agreed to cut his lip as part of the injury cover-up.

ERC added: "The board have reserved their position in relation to Dr Wendy Chapman."

Quins, meanwhile, had a €250,000 fine increased to €300,000 at the appeals hearing - although they avoided expulsion from this season's Heineken Cup.

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