Dean Richards, former Director of rugby at Harlequins, has been handed a three year ban from coaching following his involvement in the Bloodgate scandal. Winger Tom Williams, who was the player it surrounded, has had his ban reduced to just 4 months.
An ERC independent appeals committee handed out the suspension following an inquisition into the fake-blood incident which had Williams leaving the field with an apparent cut to the mouth.
Richards, along with former physio Steph Brennan, was found to have been involved in four similar incidents, hence the severity of the ban.
Williams had initially been handed a years suspension, but had that cut down to four months, with Brennan receiving a two year ban for his part.
Richards had resigned last week, but was last night shocked by the banning, but did admit taking responsibility for what happened.
I’m a little bit shocked, a little bit surprised by it all,” he said.
“I took full responsibility for it. It was a farcical situation, it really was.
Part of the cover up apparently involved Williams being deliberately cut with a scalpel after the match, to hide that they had used a fake-blood capsule.
Richards said: “I have no knowledge of that. I wasn’t party to anything going on there. I’m not aware that it did happen. I know that he had a cut but I don’t know how it came about because I wasn’t in the room.”
In a statement that Williams read after the hearing, he had the following to say.
“I hope that, as a result of this episode, no player or employee will ever be put in such a compromised position, and if they are then they will always tell the truth, as I had wish I had done from the outset.”
This clip features interviews from Dean Richards, Tom Williams, and then comments from former England player Phil Greening.
Harlequins hit hard with massive fine and suspension after fake injury
Thanks to Sky Sports