LITESPORT DEAN RICHARDS could face further charges from the RFU todayoveracover-upinvolving a series of faked blood replacements at Harlequins. Richards (above) was banned from coaching for three years last night after the 46-year-old admittedhispartintheBlood- gate scandal at an ERC inde- pendent appeals committee, which lasted almost 14 hours at Glasgows Radisson Hotel. TheformerEnglandforward, whoresignedasQuinsdirector of rugby last weekend, finally took the blame for the now- infamous incident during last seasons Heineken Cup quar- ter-final defeat against Lein- ster which saw wing Tom Williams take a blood capsule to fake a facial cut so substi- tuted kicker Nick Evans could return to the field. Richards was also found to have been involved in four similar incidents in other competitions. Buthedeniedanyknowledge of Williams face being cut with a scalpel after the game on 12 April. Richards said: I have no knowledge of that. Im not aware it happened. I know he had a cut but I dont know how it came about because I wasnt in the room. Im a little bit shocked, a lit- tle bit surprised by it all. It seemsalittlebitdisproportion- ate but, at the end of the day, Ill reflect on it overnight and see where my thoughts are in the morning. Richards added: I take full responsibility for it. It was a farcical situation. Itdidntpanoutparticularly well on the day. Everybody looked at it and thought, Thats unreal, which is what I thought on the touchline. Charges against Richards were originally dismissed by an independent disciplinary committee last month. Quins physio Steph Brennan, also clearedintheoriginalhearing, received a two-year ban. Wing Williams, 25, was origi- nallybannedfor12monthsbut saw that suspension reduced on appeal to four months last night and will now be able to resume playing from 20 November. Reading a statement, he said: Isincerelyregrettherolethat Iveplayedinthisunacceptable incidentthathasdonesomuch damage to the image of rugby union. I let down my team- mates and the fans, and Ill have to live with those actions for the rest of my career. I hope that, as a result of thisepisode,noplayerwillever be put in such a compromised position, and if they are then they will always tell the truth, as I wish I had done from the outset. The decision to dismiss charges against club medic Dr Wendy Chapman was upheld after the appeals committee decided it lacked jurisdiction in her case. The club saw their original fine of 250,000 (215,000) -- half of which was suspended for two years -- increasedto300,000(258,000), with none suspended. Brennanrefusedtocomment on his punishment last night, while Harlequins chief execu- tive Mark Evans was disap- pointed with the clubs increased fine, which they must pay by 1 December. HeinekenCupexpulsionwould havecosttheclubanestimated 1.25m. 32 Tuesday, 18 August 2009 London Lite Eyell be fit forhomeGP, vowsMassa FERRARIS Felipe Massa says he is close to a full recovery and is aiming to return to racing at the Brazilian Grand Prix in October. Massas left eye is not yet fully healed from his life-threatening crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix which left him hospitalized for nine days with multiple skull fractures. But last years championship runner-up believes he is progressing well enough to be able to make his race return at his home Grand Prix on 18 October. He said: I dont know if it will be possible but I hope to be back in my home race, which is always very special to me. Maybe even before that, lets see. Im improving. Im still not 100 percent and my sight in the left eye still isnt 100 percent. Im about 85 percent, 90 percent recovered. There is still a bit to go before Im back to normal. The Brazilian has already made a phone call to his interim replacement at Ferrari, Luca Badoer, to offer him his support. I hope he can have a good race and help the team, Massa said, referring to this weekends European GP in Valencia. Thumbs up: Felipe Massa is on the mend Its all go for Fernando to start in Spain RENAULT and Fernando Alonso have won an appeal against a one- race ban, clearing them to take part at Sundays European Grand Prix in Valencia. The French team were punished after allowing Alonso to leave the pit lane with a loose wheel at last months Hungarian Grand Prix. The wheel came off and bounced across the track, with stewards ruling that the teams pit crew knew the wheel was not properly secured and failed to tell the driver. A statement on the FIAs official website read: The FIA will allow the appeal and overturn the sanction imposed by the Stewards in the contested decision and to issue a fine of 30,600 upon Renault. Lee can now see the Woods for the tees IN the wake of his shock defeat to South Koreas Y E Yang in the US PGA Championship, Tiger Woods sought consolation in the knowledge that at least he had put himself in contention for a 15th major title. Now Woods mantra, that titles will come to those who consistently give themselves a chance coming down the stretch on a Sunday afternoon, has been adopted by Lee Westwood. The former European number one is still searching for his maiden major victory 16 years after turning professional. But after following up his third place in the Open at Turnberry with third at Hazeltine at the weekend, Westwood is convinced he is giving himself so many opportunities that the big breakthrough is inevitable. It shows my game is improving to a high enough standard, he said. Ive come back from what could have been a slight disappointment at the Open, not winning there, so its all positives. Its a very fickle game. All you can do is keep repeating the same process and wait for things to turn around.Eyeing a major: Lee Westwood BY DAVID DIBBLE More bloody trouble over fake injuries for banned Richards BLOODGATE: GRIME & PUNISHMENT BY NEAL COLLINS THE CLUB MUCH talk this morning about Quins fine being upped from 215,000 to 258,000 but the reality is expulsion from the Heinken Cup would have cost them over 1m. Looks like Richards took the blame so Quins could play in Europe. THE COACH DEAN RICHARDS has been banned for three years from Europe but Ladbrokes still rate him at 8-1 to be England coach for the 2015 World Cup. Theyve also got him at 100-1 to appear on a TV advert for tomato ketchup before the end of the year. THE PLAYER TOM WILLIAMS saw his year- long ban cut to just four months. The 25-year-old back should be playing by November but those images of obviously fake bright red blood streaming from his mouth (right) will be there as long as YouTube exists. THE PHYSIO STEPH BRENNAN, now banned for two years, is a respected figure in the game having worked with England. Club doctor Wendy Chapman was cleared after the ERC said they lacked jurisdiction in her case under the disciplinary rules. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html