The original Committee imposed a fine of 250,000 Euro on Harlequins, of which 50 percent was suspended for two years, and the Committee suspended Mr Williams from playing rugby for a period of 12 months up to and including 19 July, 2010.
The Committee found that the Misconduct Complaints against club officials Dean Richards (Director of Rugby), Dr Wendy Chapman (Doctor) and Steph Brennan (Physiotherapist) had not been proven.
Mr Williams lodged an appeal against the sanction imposed on him and ERC Disciplinary Officer Roger O'Connor appealed the level of sanction imposed on the Club (Harlequins) and the decision of the Committee to dismiss Misconduct Complaints against the three Club officials.
After almost 14 hours of hearings the independent Appeal Committee, chaired by Rod McKenzie (Scotland) and also comprising Professor Lorne D Crerar (Scotland) and Mark McParland (Ireland), issued the following decisions.
Tom Williams: Following the introduction of new evidence by Mr Williams where he admitted his guilt in the Misconduct and where he explained the part played by Mr Richards and Mr Brennan in fabricating the wound or blood injury, as well as disclosing full details of the steps taken by those involved to cover up what had happened in the period following the match, the Committee upheld the appeal and reduced the sanction to a suspension of four (4) months up-to and including 19 November 2009.
Dean Richards: Following the introduction of the new evidence by Mr Williams and an admission of guilt by Dean Richards, the Committee allowed the ERC appeal and found that Mr Richards was guilty of Misconduct in that he organised the fabrication of a wound or blood injury. Mr Richards acknowledged that he had orchestrated the subsequent cover up of the incident.
The Committee imposed a suspension of three (3) years on Mr Richards from participating in any capacity in ERC tournaments and will be requesting that other tournaments and Governing Bodies give effect to this suspension in their tournaments.
Steph Brennan: Following the introduction of the new evidence by Mr Williams and an admission of guilt by Steph Brennan, the Committee allowed the appeal and found that Mr Brennan was guilty of Misconduct in that he participated in the fabrication of a wound or blood injury. Mr Brennan acknowledged that he had been actively involved in the subsequent cover up of the incident.
The Committee imposed a suspension of two (2) years on Mr Brennan from participating in any capacity in ERC tournaments and will be requesting that other tournaments and Governing Bodies give effect to this suspension in their tournaments.
During the course of the hearing it was disclosed that there had been four previous occasions in non ERC tournaments in which Mr Richards and Mr Brennan had fabricated a wound or blood injury. Details of these incidents will be passed on to the relevant tournaments organiser.
The Club (Harlequins): The Committee found that the club were vicariously liable for the actions of its employees and that the level of Misconduct by its employees was of a greater magnitude than had been established in the original hearing based on the new evidence from Mr Williams and upheld the ERC appeal and increased the fine imposed on the Club to 300,000 Euro, which it must pay in full by 1 December 2009.
Dr Wendy Chapman: The Appeal Committee dismissed the ERCs Disciplinary Officer's appeal on grounds that the Appeal Committee lacked jurisdiction under the Disciplinary Rules in this particular case.
Independent Appeal Committee:
a) Following the decision(s) of an independent Disciplinary Committee all parties (the Club, player(s), individuals and ERC) have the right to appeal the decision(s) of the Committee.
b) The independent Appeal Committee is chosen by the Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Panel Professor Lorne Crerar.
c) None of the members of the independent Disciplinary Committee who issued the decisions being challenged in the appeal(s) may sit on the independent Appeal Committee.
d) The full written decision(s) for the original independent Disciplinary Hearing and the Appeal Hearing will be made available on ercrugby.com/disciplinenews at a later date when the full written decision(s) of the Appeal hearing have been completed and issued to all parties.