Bloodgate scandal offers harsh lessons
When it comes to sport can doctors really say: "I am sorry, but I was bullied into this?"
So, bloodgate is over. A player swallowed a blood capsule, the doctor was coerced into cutting his mouth, the coaching staff lied about it and rugby leapfrogged into the professional era in the most unsavoury way.
The doctor kept her job. And before I pass comment let me assure you I am not squeaky clean in any aspect of my life.
Every doctor will know what it is like to be forced to do the wrong thing. "But doc, it was only a small concussion!"
Substitute that for sprained ankle, sore shoulder, stitches, knee pain, and "please give me a pain-killing jag!"
All to allow a player to play when he or she should not.
Bloodgate took it to a different level, though, with a co-ordinated attempt at getting round rules by including the faking of an injury (not new) and the co-operation of a doctor.
It goes further than this.
Doctors, in many sports, claim that they are bullied into making the wrong decision. The reason that cyclists take drugs, sprinters take drugs, runners get blood doped, players find themselves injected, and all manner of medical cheating takes part... is that doctors give in. They cave in to pressure.
They then become the conduit for cheating. Doctors are central to the action every time a drug cheat is caught.
Doctors should be stronger than that; the medical profession should be much tougher.
I find it incredible that any doctor would agree to cut someone deliberately, or supply performance-enhancing drugs deliberately.
"Doc, please give me something that will make me stronger."
Maybe this is a turning point for rugby.
You see, I read a fascinating article suggesting that the doctor should have been struck off because of all the above facts.
Our sport, it was suggested, has given a little bit of encouragement to every doctor out there who is tempted to cheat.
I felt so sorry for her as I read the evidence in court. Can you imagine being in the middle of the perfect medical storm with highly-paid grown men exerting maximum pressure? No? Me neither.
Are you sure you would have resisted the pressure? No? Me neither.
For that reason I think she found herself in an unprecedented situation and rightly kept her job.
Until this all happened I did not know that clubs had fake blood capsules and neither did she, probably.
But now that we all know, doctors in rugby must know that the next time anything like this happens they will, indeed, be struck off.