On this day in 2010: Steph Brennan struck off following Bloodgate scandal

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Former Harlequins physiotherapist Steph Brennan was struck off for misconduct on this day in 2010 following his role in rugby union’s infamous Bloodgate scandal.

The decision was made by the Health Professions Council’s conduct and competence committee following a hearing in London.

Brennan had been serving a two-year suspension from rugby and was working in private practice. He admitted to five instances – including Bloodgate – of faking blood injuries.

The Bloodgate controversy came to light following a Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster in 2009, Nick Evans coming back on despite an earlier thigh problem to replace Tom Williams, who had suffered an apparent blood injury.

Harlequins Tom Williams was blood replaced by Nick Evans in the last few minutes of the Heineken Cup match against Leinster.
Harlequins’ Tom Williams was replaced by Nick Evans in the last few minutes of the Heineken Cup match against Leinster (David Davies/PA)

An investigation discovered the blood injury was faked, and had been on four previous occasions, with Brennan handed his ban.

Brennan accepted all but one of the allegations laid before him in the two-day hearing and – on September 14, 2010 – was struck off with a sanction “necessary for the public and other professionals to understand that behaviour of this sort is unacceptable”.

Having been set to start working for the RFU as a member of the England physio team before the scandal, in January 2011 Brennan won a high court battle over the decision to strike him off.

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