Bloodgate? That’s so last year. Why then is it all being dredged up just as another season is about to begin?
Harlequins’ Doctor Wendy Chapman will give evidence today to the General Medical Council, by whom she is charged with misconduct and bringing the profession into disrepute.
As far as I can see, there hasn’t been anything new coming out of the latest reports and general brouhaha. The ERC inquiry last year seemed to uncover the truth (eventually), and it appears to me that everyone involved has been suitably punished.
If even I know that Tom Williams asked Chapman to cut his lip once they had retreated to the changing room covered in ludicrously bright fake blood, why do we need a two-week inquiry on the eve of another season to confirm it?
The circumstances of Chapman’s actions were so unique, and she was clearly under pressure from the club to do what she did that, in my view, she really needn’t be struck of as a doctor. She hasn’t practised for a year and her career has been significantly hindered already, so why not let her rebuild her life in peace?
Bloodgate only reflects poorly on the professional game of rugby, and not on the medical profession in the slightest. The irony of this medical disciplinary panel therefore is that it is just bringing rugby further into disrepute, whilst the panel decides whether their profession has been brought into disrepute.
I’m not saying that the incident should be swept under the carpet, but I do believe it was dealt with effectively last year, and that I can’t see the sense in revisiting the case, playing the incriminating footage on the 10 o’clock news and dragging the sport through the mud once more.
ARTICLE UPDATE 25th Aug:
With Dr Wendy Chapman quoted as ‘ashamed’ of her actions in Bloodgate, Harlequins Chief Exec Mark Evans said today that the ‘club has a lot of sympathy for her’ and that they felt ‘responsible’ for the difficult year she has had since the whole affair started. Evans admitted that it will always be ‘part of the club’s history’.
Quins were revealing this season’s away shirt and announcing their new club captain Chris Robshaw at their new training ground at Surrey Sports Park, currently hosting the pool games of the Womens Rugby World Cup. Robshaw commented, ‘When Deano left we lost belief and the passion within ourselves.’ He emphasised that the arrival of Director of Rugby Conor O’Shea has changed that. Harlequins begin their 2010/11 season at the London Double Header at Twickenham where over 70,000 are expected to turn out as they face London Wasps whilst London Irish will face Saracens.