Harlequins fined over fake injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harlequins fined over fake injury

21/07/2009 07:39:49 AM Comments (0)

English Premiership club Harlequins were fined STG215,000 ($A437,569) on Monday by the European Cup organisers for faking an injury in their European Cup quarter-final with eventual champions Leinster.

The club have the right to appeal against the punishment inflicted by European Rugby Cup (ERC) who also slapped a 12-month suspension on winger Tom Williams for his role in the faked injury where he left the field allegedly with a blood injury.

Half of the fine has been suspended for two years.

Williams came off in the dying minutes of their clash with Harlequins losing 6-5 which permitted the English club to bring back on their New Zealand kicker Nick Evans - he had left the field of play injured in the 47th minute while his replacement Chris Malone also had to go off injured.

Television footage appeared to show Williams winking as he left the pitch.

With the match delicately poised, Evans had a late attempt at a drop-goal to put Quins into the semi-final - but his effort was wide of the posts.

However, ERC absolved Harlequins director of rugby, former England playing great Dean Richards and two of the club's medical staff - which left the club a little puzzled at the heaviness of their punishment.

"We are both surprised and disappointed at this decision - particularly so in the light of the acquittal of Dean Richards (and the two medical staff) on similar or identical charges," said the club in a statement.

"The club and the player will consider their position in the light of the written judgment due to be handed down by the disciplinary commission."

The ERC, though, were unequivocal in their dismay at the behaviour of the club.

"It was the view of the committee that this was a very serious offence and one that damaged the reputation of the tournament and of rugby union," they said in a statement.

"Accordingly the committee imposed a fine of 250,000 euros ($A437,569) on Harlequins, of which 50 per cent is suspended for two years.

"The committee also suspended Mr Williams from playing rugby for a period of 12 months up to and including July 19 2010."

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