Charles Jillings has resigned as chairman of Harlequins in the wake of the fake blood controversy.
In a lengthy statement, Jillings said: “As chairman I am ultimately responsible for all decisions.
“I apologise unreservedly to all our stakeholders for inadvertently compounding the issues. The escalation of these issues in the public domain needs, I believe, a clear response.
“In this context I have decided to resign as chairman and director. Ultimately this happened under my watch, and the failure to control must fall at my door.”
Malcolm Wall, who has been conducting an internal review into the so-called Bloodgate episode, has replaced Jillings as interim chairman.
Harlequins' former director of rugby Dean Richards ordered winger Tom Williams to fake a blood injury in the dying minutes of last season's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster.
With Quins trailing 6-5, Williams bit on a fake blood capsule and left the field, allowing previously substituted fly-half Nick Evans to return in an attempt to win the game.
Jillings has sought to clarify his actions and has strongly denied ever attempting to bribe Williams into keeping silent.
Williams was offered a new four-year contract plus other benefits.
“With hindsight my judgement can be called into question by the proximity of my suggestion of limited disclosure by Tom Williams on the one hand, and a financial package proposal on the other,” said Jillings.
“My intention was that he was compensated for the damage created by our failure to control (Dean Richards). Under no circumstances was the financial proposal a reward for silence.”