Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Quins' Ordeal Is Not over Yet as RFU Ponder New Charges; after Revelation That Club Bosses Tried to Bribe Tom Williams over 'Bloodgate' Appeal, the Game's Chiefs May Now Act

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Quins' Ordeal Is Not over Yet as RFU Ponder New Charges; after Revelation That Club Bosses Tried to Bribe Tom Williams over 'Bloodgate' Appeal, the Game's Chiefs May Now Act

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

HARLEQUINS could face further punishment over "Bloodgate" after the RFU announced they have launched a new investigation following more shocking revelations of the scandal.

The game's governing body said on Monday they would take no action against Quins, who were fined [pounds sterling]259,000 over Tom Williams's fake blood injury in the Heineken Cup tie with Leinster in April.

But in a major U-turn following the publication of Williams's evidence at his appeal, the RFU will probe the controversy and could bring charges against the club. Although the new investigation is a huge blow for the crisis club, Quins insisted today Mark Evans will not be axed.

The RFU have expressed their "concern" over Williams's claims that he felt under pressure from Harlequins not to make a full disclosure on the events behind the controversy.

Quins wing Williams told an independent appeals committee last week the club had offered him a new fouryear contract plus other benefits and said in his written testimony, which was released yesterday, that Evans and chairman Charles Jillings had asked him to consider a limited appeal solely against the length of his ban.

Williams was initially handed a 12-month suspension -- reduced to four months after appeal -- for chewing a fake blood capsule during the match.

Following the initial ban, Williams said Evans told him the club could face expulsion from the competition if he proceeded with a full-disclosure appeal and urged him to adopt a damagelimitation approach.

Williams said he had initially accepted the offer of a new contract -- and even admitted demanding the club pay off his mortgage -- but ultimately decided to tell all during last Monday's hearing. The RFU will wait until full details are published of European Rugby Cup's appeal against the original sanctions placed on Quins before deciding whether to take further action. …

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