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Doctor 'ashamed of Bloodgate role'

The doctor at the centre of the 'Bloodgate' fake injury scandal has said she was "ashamed" of her role in the event.

Dr Wendy Chapman said she still could not understand why she succumbed to "huge pressure" from Harlequins winger Tom Williams, who asked her to cut his lip as a cover-up after he bit into a fake-blood capsule.

His so-called injury meant a specialist goal kicker could come on to the pitch in the dying minutes of last April's Heineken Cup quarter-final tie against Irish side Leinster, who held on to win 6-5.

The doctor admitted for the first time on Monday that she cut the player with a stitch cutter in the changing rooms after match officials had started to make inquiries.

Sobbing as she gave evidence before a General Medical Council disciplinary hearing, Dr Chapman described the moment she realised she had been "duped".

"I was horrified, just horrified. This is a very huge game and they cheated," she said. "I was very ashamed that I gave into the pressure."

On Monday, she also admitted that she falsely stated at a subsequent European Rugby Cup (ERC) hearing last July that Williams's injury was real and that she had not cut his lip.

She said the hearing "spiralled into a complete nightmare" as the other parties involved in the case - the club, Williams, director of rugby Dean Richards and physiotherapist Steph Brennan - all stuck to the original story.

She admitted almost all the charges against her from the GMC which says her conduct on the match day and at the subsequent ERC hearing was likely to bring the profession into disrepute and was dishonest. The only matter that Dr Chapman contests is that she told match officials that Williams had a loose tooth in order to deceive them.

The hearing was told Harlequins performance coach Ian Bell was the only other person in the room when the lip was cut. Giving evidence, he said he was "staggered" at the player's request and thought "what on earth has the game come to".

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