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An open letter to members of the CSP

Steph Brennan, the physiotherapist at the centre of the 'Bloodgate' rugby incident, apologises for bringing the profession into disrepute. The Health Professions Council interim order against him as been temporarily lifted pending his appeal.

Physiotherapist Steph Brennan

First and foremost, thank you to all who have shown me support during recent times. I’m very aware that my situation has caused anxiety and consternation amongst the physio community, and understandably so. I am sincerely sorry to have caused the profession’s name to be dragged through the press in a negative light. It was never my intention to affect the reputation of the profession that I love. I hope that this open letter somewhat assists in demonstrating that I am sorry, that I have learned lessons and that I can at least try to draw out some good from the whole sordid ‘Bloodgate’ affair. My participation in ‘Bloodgate’ was a stupid act of cheating in sport and has nothing to do with the profession of physiotherapy. It was dishonest. I recognise that honesty is and must be a core value of being a health professional. To that extent, I let myself, my family, my profession and my professional colleagues down profoundly and I am ashamed of my actions. As a result of what I did I received a two-year worldwide ban from rugby, I lost my dream job with the England Rugby Team and I resigned from the private practice at the Twickenham Stoop that I had spent the previous two years working very hard to establish - though I can see that it was my own behaviour that brought these consequences upon myself. Even with these negative consequences I was able to cope, because I proceeded on that basis that my bad actions should serve as a reminder to myself and others not to do anything similar again. I was fortunate enough that the HPC allowed me to continue working whilst preparing for my fitness to practice hearing. Getting back into general private practice work after so much sports-specific work was really stimulating for me. I was at a great clinic with a great bunch of physios - and getting involved with paediatrics, neurology and some aged care again was really refreshing. It showed me that sports work can be quite limiting professionally and that I had something to offer to the profession more widely. I have learnt many, many lessons during the past 18 months. I have also tried to step back from the events to see what can be done to cause others to not get involved in the same stupidity. To that end I have embarked upon a series of lectures and discussion sessions with members of the profession in an effort to share my experiences, highlight where I went wrong and identify what steps can be taken to avoid making the same mistakes that I made. I am grateful to the support that the CSP has shown to me in that process. Again, I would like to apologise to those who are unhappy about my actions, and thank those who have been supportive and understanding. I will strive hard in each day of my practice and hope that one day I will be shown to have been worthy of being given a second chance in this great profession. Sincerely, Steph Brennan


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An open letter to members of the CSP

Issue date

1 December 2010

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