Quins show sympathy to Chapman
Harlequins chief executive Mark Evans said on Wednesday that staff at the club feel "a great deal of sympathy" for the Bloodgate doctor Wendy Chapman.
The former Kent accident and emergency consultant is the subject of a General Medical Council hearing over her role in the incident, which occurred during Harlequins' Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster in April 2009. Dr Chapman, who was working as Harlequins' match-day doctor, tearfully admitted to being "ashamed" that she had succumbed to "huge pressure" and deliberately cut the lip of Tom Williams.
The Harlequins wing had used a blood capsule to fake an injury while on the field and he was anxious for Dr Chapman to make the cut in order to hide the deception from suspicious Leinster medics. "There are a lot of people at the club who feel a great deal of sympathy for her and have been supportive," said Evans. "That is about as much as you can do."
The GMC claim Dr Chapman's conduct on the match day and at a later European Rugby Cup (ERC) disciplinary hearing was likely to bring the profession into disrepute and was dishonest.
Leinster's doctor Professor Arthur Tanner, a leading Irish surgeon, explained to the hearing why he gave a newspaper interview after the incident in which he said he sympathised for Dr Chapman.
"My feelings I suppose for Dr Chapman revolved around the aftermath," said Prof Tanner.
"Perhaps her career and reputation has suffered a lot more. Rugby will get over it, no problem. When all the punitive hearings are over, rugby will learn from this."
Coach Dean Richards received a three-year ban from the ERC disciplinary committee and the physio Steph Brennan, whose own professional misconduct hearing is next month, was banned from rugby for two years.
Harlequins believe that, as a club, they have finally managed to consign the episode to history after a turbulent year at The Stoop.
"It is part of the club's history. It will always be there," admitted Evans. "I think there is a different mood this season. It is well over a year since the event. We have moved to a new (training) place and it is a new season."