‘Bloodgate’ doctor ‘ashamed’ of cutting player’s lip
A doctor has said she is “very ashamed” of cutting
the lip of Harlequins rugby player Tom Williams to
help him pretend he was injured during a match.
A General Medical Council (GMC) panel heard Williams
asked Dr Wendy Chapman to cut him after he bit into
a fake blood capsule to come off the pitch.
The “Bloodgate” incident allowed a goal-kicker to be
brought on in the Heineken Cup tie with Leinster.
Dr Chapman told the hearing there was “no
justification” for her actions.
Harlequins were losing 6-5 in the quarter-final
clash at the Stoop, Twickenham, when Williams bit
the fake blood capsule.
The deceit engineered a “blood replacement”, which
allowed a substituted specialist kicker back on to
the field in the closing minutes of the tie in April
Dr Chapman described the moment she realised she had
“I was horrified, just horrified. This is a very
huge game and they cheated,” she said.
“I was very ashamed that I gave in to the pressure.”
She said she was so embarrassed about what she had
done that she felt she could not confide in anybody.
The hearing also heard she had since been treated
Questioned by GMC counsel Michael Hayton about what
happened in the changing room where she was treating
the player, Dr Chapman said it was the most
stressful event she had ever encountered despite
working many years in accident and emergency.
Asked if she had realised the “enormity” of what she
had done, she said: “Not the consequences for me.
The fact that they they cheated was high in my mind.
“I just could not believe it.”
On Monday, she admitted she falsely stated at a
European Rugby Cup (ERC) hearing last July that
Williams’s injury was real and that she had not cut
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 that the “injury” was
Dr Chapman said: “I was just desperate. To be the
one person to stand up and say: ‘It was not’... I
did not know what to do.”
She was cleared of any wrongdoing by the ERC.
The doctor has admitted almost all the charges
brought by 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
The only matter that Dr Chapman contests is the
allegation that she told match officials that
Williams had a loose tooth in order to deceive them.
Dr Chapman, an accident and emergency consultant,
was suspended on no pay from Maidstone Hospital in
Kent following the incident.
She cannot work until the outcome of the fitness to
practise hearing in Manchester, where she could be
struck off. The case, which opened on Monday, is
expected to last for two weeks.
Richards was banned for three years by the ERC and
the club was fined £259,000.
It emerged he had ordered fake blood injuries on
four other occasions and orchestrated the
Williams was initially barred from the game for 12
months, a ban reduced to four months after he
admitted using the capsule. – [BBC]
|Veteran golfer disqualified
By Jay Busbee
Here we go again ... another rules controversy has
cost a player a tournament. And this time, the
player didn’t even have a chance to get out of bed!
Actually, that’s the heart of the problem. Jim Furyk
may be one of the best golfers on the planet, but
he’s got some seriously bad luck. Early Wednesday
morning, Furyk’s cell phone alarm didn’t go off,
making him late for his pro-am tee time in The
Barclays. And the PGA Tour’s rules on this are very
clear: no pro-am, no tournament. “I’m kicking
myself,” Furyk said.
Fortunately for Furyk, missing the first round of
the FedEx Cup playoffs won’t be too devastating to
his hopes of winning the $10 million prize. He
currently sits No. 3 in the standings, and doesn’t
figure to fall too far below that. Still, that’s not
exactly how you want to start a playoff run, is it?
Here’s the sequence of events, familiar to everyone
who’s ever sweated through a nervous night before a
big final exam. Furyk apparently woke up at 7:23
a.m., threw on whatever clothes were lying around,
and got to the course 12 minutes later. Problem is,
the tournament was a shotgun start at 7:30, and as
Furyk was starting at the 11th hole, there was no
way on earth he’d make his tee time in time.
Now, unlike some of the more esoteric/ridiculous
rules of golf that can cost a player a tournament,
as discussed earlier this week, it’s easy to
understand why the PGA Tour has a rule in place that
players have to be at the pro-am. Too often, players
were skipping out on the Wednesday sponsor
meet-and-greet, leaving executive VPs and similar
corporate types unhappy that they drew a no-name --
or no name -- instead of the marquee player they’d
Still, as the AP notes, it’s not the end of the road
for Furyk. Last year, Zach Johnson was ranked third
going into the Barclays, and had he not played, he
would have only fallen to fifth going into next
weekend’s Deutsche Bank championship. (Memo to
stars: Don’t take this as an excuse to sleep in.)
“I played my heart out all year,” Furyk said. “I’ve
got no one to blame but myself.”
Bet he’s wishing he set a wake-up call right about
now. - [Yahoo Sports]
|Botham warns: England won’t
commit sins of 2006/07
Sir Ian Botham
says England won’t commit the sins of the disastrous
2006-07 Ashes defence that saw Andrew Flintoff’s
side turn up in honeymoon mode Down Under.
England was walloped 5-0 by Ricky Ponting’s
Australians four years ago in the first Ashes
whitewash since 1920-21. It was a demoralising
result with the visitors accused of being drunk on
the success of their 2005 Ashes triumph.
This time Andrew Strauss will lead a well-drilled,
better-equipped visiting force that won’t be
expecting MBEs for toppling Australia.
“I think England would have learned a very big
lesson. They won it in 2005 and turned up here for
the 2006-07 series like Muppets,” 102-Test
allrounder Botham said.
“When Australia got on that flight after losing the
Ashes in 2005 the only thing they were thinking
about was getting them back. England was on a
England has five weeks to refresh between its Test
and one-day series against Pakistan at home and the
Ashes tour match opener against Western Australia on
A three-day match against South Australia at
Adelaide Oval and four-day dress rehearsal against
Australia A in Hobart follow.
By contrast, Shane Warne has labelled Australia’s
Ashes preparation a “disgrace”.
Australia will figure in two Tests and three 50-over
games against India on the sub-continent in October,
then a three-match, one-day series against Sri Lanka
ahead of the first Test against England in Brisbane
starting on November 25.
Ponting has claimed Australia can inflict another
5-0 drubbing but Botham predicts England won’t be
gifting back the Ashes urn.
“They have learned lessons now. I think they are
better prepared and more balanced,” Botham said of
England, which won the World Twenty20 in the
Caribbean and prevailed in a 3-2 one-day series
scoreline against Australia last month. It will
really be a good contest.
“Last visit they walked in and played a couple of
Mickey Mouse games then played Australia in Brisbane
and wondered why they got flattened in
Botham, with 5200 runs and 383 wickets at 28 for
England, believes Ashes supremacy will be decided by
which bowling unit clicks first.
Of concern to Australia is that spearhead Mitchell
Johnson endured a poor tour of England, workhorse
seamer Peter Siddle is on the comeback trail from
back stress fractures while off-spinner Nathan
Hauritz remains hampered by a foot ailment.
Botham warned left-armer Johnson must be on-song
from the outset at the Gabba. “It will come down to
the bowlers, you have to take 20 wickets, both sides
know that,” said Botham.
“Someone like Mitchell Johnson didn’t fire or bowl
as well as he could have on the last Ashes tour in
England until he sorted it out towards the end. That
was a bit of a blow for Australia. I think the
batting is solid, cancels each other out. Bowlers
win matches.” – [Foxsport]
|What’s the point of the MCC?
The celebrated historian George Trevelyan once wrote
that if the French nobility had only played cricket
with their servants they wouldn’t have had their
Today, with the revolution taking place within the
game itself, Quentin Letts casts a quizzical eye
over Marylebone cricket club, the English
institution responsible for maintaining its laws and
upholding its spirit.
It’s not easy for MCC to shake off the weight of
history. It resisted the demands of sexual equality
almost into the present century, and it is still
berated for its exclusiveness. The programme hears
from Rachael Heyhoe-Flint who captained the first
English women’s team allowed onto the Lord’s pitch,
and to another former Captain, Mike Gatting, who
berates MCC members for a display of very
ungentlemanly manners to fellow cricketer, Ian
The powerhouse of cricket is now in India, the
governing body is in Dubai and the focus of the game
is shifting from test match to twenty-twenty but
this private members club, the owner of the most
famous sports ground in the world, still seeks a
place at the table. Quentin talks to MCC chief
executive Keith Bradshaw about what it’s doing there
- resisting the economic and global forces of
modernity or leading the charge of change? – [BBC]
|Fat-fingered sumo wrestlers
Fat-fingered sumo wrestlers, unable to tap the keys
on a standard mobile phone, are being given iPads to
help improve communication.
The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) said it would
distribute 60 iPads among all of the sport’s 51
The announcement comes as the JSA outlined measures
to deal with a series of recent scandals.
The ancient sport has recently been rocked by
allegations of an illegal gambling ring.
Wrestlers have been accused of betting on baseball
games, which is illegal in Japan and is often
associated with organised criminal gangs.
The sport’s authorities were criticised for their
clumsy efforts to investigate the scandals, in part
due poor communication between sumo leaders.
The iPads are intended to speed up communication
between JSA officials, wrestlers and coaches, who
have until now relied on telephone or fax.
“We will hand out the newest iPads to all the sumo
stables to swiftly communicate what we need to,” JSA
vice chairman Hiroyoshi Murayama said.
E-mail also has the added advantage of leaving a
paper trail for investigators.
Many Japanese newspapers also reported that the iPad
had been chosen because of its large touch-screen
keys that can be easily prodded by the giant
“When they try to send e-mail on mobile phones or
PCs they often end up pressing two or three keys at
once,” said the daily Nikkan Sports.- [BBC]
|Swimmer’s iconic battle
By Pete Thomas
Bruckner Chase staggered ashore at San Carlos Beach
in Monterey on Tuesday evening after a 14-hour swim
to raise awareness about the fragile nature of the
local marine environment.
Ironically, some of the creatures native to that
environment made Chase pay dearly for his 25-mile
traverse across fabled Monterey Bay.
“I’m, like, ‘Come on guys, I’m trying to help here,’
“ he said of a massive swarm of jellyfish that rose
to the surface and threatened to thwart his epic
Chase was first stung about an hour into a swim that
began in his hometown Santa Cruz before dawn. The
jellies became more dense and the stings more
frequent, so a determined Chase donned a wetsuit
handed to him by those aboard an escort boat.
But that only protected his torso, arms and legs. “I
got stung on my tongue, inside my mouth, on my neck
and my feet and hands,” he said during an interview
Wednesday morning, while parts of his body still
itched and contained welts. “After the sun came up I
did not take a single stroke in which I did not at
least see a jellyfish.”
Chase, 44, who scheduled the event earlier than he
would have liked to help kick off this week’s Blue
Ocean Film Festival, became only the second person
to have completed the swim across Monterey Bay.
Cindy Cleveland, a Southern California lifeguard,
remains the only swimmer to have accomplished the
feat without wearing a wetsuit: the manner by which
long-distance swimmers prefer. But Cleveland did not
experience a jellyfish swarm of the magnitude Chase
endured, as his wife and two sisters watched from
the escort vessel while cringing as Chase slogged
through the gooey, tentacled creatures.
Since 1983, several people have tried -- and failed
-- to repeat Cleveland’s feat. Jellyfish foiled
Chase’s first attempt last year, nine miles into his
Patti Bauernfiend of Northern California tried last
week, without a wetsuit, and made it halfway before
jellyfish stings forced her out of the water.
Chase, an endurance swimmer who has swum the length
of Lake Tahoe and tried or attempted numerous other
“adventure swims,” put on the wetsuit reluctantly
after his wife, Michelle Evans-Chase, told him he
would not make it without one.
“We had a bigger mission in doing this, in
connecting the two cities and spanning the Monterey
Bay National Marine Sanctuary,” the swimmer
explained. “I would have hated to let pride and ego
keep me out of the wetsuit when we had so much
potential to reach so many people by swimming
As for the jellies, several species abound in
Monterey Bay during much of the summer, but they’re
not always so dense at the surface. During the last
mile, Chase felt them oozing through his hands with
every stroke and realized “that had I not been in a
wetsuit, I would not have been able to physically
survive.” – [GrindTV]
|Tennis star changes her shoe
Last year, Melanie Oudin “believed” her way into
the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. This year, the
18-year-old will try to break out of her recent
slump with some “courage.”
Oudin will take to the court at this year’s Open
with personalised adidas shoes emblazoned with the
word “COURAGE.” Last year, her “BELIEVE” shoes
became one of the major stories of the tournament,
thanks to their folksy orgin, bright colours and
Oudin’s magical run to the quarters. This year, she
and adidas opted for less mantra and more fortitude:
“The reason I chose the word COURAGE is because in
order to believe you have to have the courage to do
so. Courage to me means playing with no fear and
going for it no matter what. You can believe in
yourself so much but unless you have the courage to
go on the court and put yourself on the line every
time you won’t make it. You need courage and belief
to make it to the top.”
Oudin is going to need all the courage she can get
in Flushing Meadows. She’s just 18-23 since last
year’s Open run and a first-round loss could drop
her as far as No. 90 in the rankings. Barring a deep
run at Flushing Meadows, Oudin’s ranking will drop
far enough where she’ll be forced to play qualifiers
at most major tourneys.
Maybe the shoe should have said “MIRACLE” instead. –