Harlequins hit with £215,000 fine

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The Independent Online

The Harlequins winger Tom Williams has been suspended for 12 months after being found guilty of his role in fabricating a blood injury in last season's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster.



The club have been fined £215,000 by an independent disciplinary panel, of which 50 per cent has been suspended for two years. Both parties have the right to appeal.

The Harlequins director of rugby, Dean Richards, plus two members of the club's medical team had misconduct complaints dismissed last night. But Williams and the club were both found guilty of fabricating a cut to the mouth in order to allow substituted fly-half Nick Evans to return to the field with five minutes remaining.

Television cameras spotted Williams winking towards the bench with "blood" smeared around his mouth.

The Bath lock Justin Harrison has been suspended for eight months after admitting three drug-related charges at a private Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing.

Harrison, 35, was suspended by RFU disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett for "actions which are prejudicial to the interests of the game".

Harrison admitted taking a prohibited substance during an end-of-season celebration in London and of subsequently failing to submit to a drugs test.

The former Australia international also admitted to shouting: "Class A, it's OK, everyone's doing it," in the vicinity of Bath's academy players.

The suspension was backdated to 14 May, the day Harrison resigned from Bath and withdrew from the Barbarians tour. He is banned from playing and coaching rugby until 13 January, 2010.

Three of Harrison's former Bath team-mates – Michael Lipman, Alex Crockett and Andrew Higgins – face similar charges at an RFU hearing later this month. All three deny any wrongdoing.

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