Promoter rejects Fury doping claims

NEW CHAPTER: British boxer Tyson Fury celebrates after defeating US boxer Deontay Wilder in the seventh round of their World Boxing Council heavyweight championship title fight in Las Vegas in the US in February
NEW CHAPTER: British boxer Tyson Fury celebrates after defeating US boxer Deontay Wilder in the seventh round of their World Boxing Council heavyweight championship title fight in Las Vegas in the US in February
Image: MARK RALSTON/AFP

A farmer who went public with claims he had lied for Tyson Fury when the boxer faced doping sanctions has been accused by Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, of trying to blackmail him (Warren).

The world heavyweight champion would be at risk of a career-ending eight-year ban if UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) were to formally investigate claims that Lancashire-based Martin Carefoot was paid to fabricate a story about supplying wild boar meat to the Fury camp.

However, Warren has dismissed Carefoot as a “fantasist”, following explosive claims he had helped to concoct the defence for Fury and his cousin, British heavyweight Hughie Fury.

The Furys, who tested positive for banned steroid nandrolone in 2015, blamed eating uncastrated wild boar or contaminated supplements and, after a lengthy and expensive stand-off with Ukad, received retrospective two-year bans.

The pair resumed their careers in December 2017, but Carefoot said on Sunday he was asked to “lie” and promised £25,000 (about R513,000) if he told investigators he had supplied the meat.

Sources close to Fury questioned the timing of the revelations, claiming the boxer had only last week settled a legal dispute with former promoter Mick Hennessy.

Warren, meanwhile, who now promotes Fury’s fights, claimed Carefoot had written to him in October 2019, and he had told him to make his complaint, via official channels, to Ukad.

Responding to the report on Sunday, Warren said the farmer “has got to be lying about something because if he’s telling the truth now, he committed perjury last time”.

According to Warren, his letter to the promoter said: “I have never told as many lies in my life ... I made sworn statements to the barrister and really put my neck on the line.”

However, when Warren rang him to ask about the claims, Carefoot is then alleged to have asked for £25,000.

The “outrageous allegations” were outlined in a letter “full of errors and basically telling me he had committed perjury by signing statements under oath and lying”, Warren said.

“When I called him, he asked for money. I told him to clear off and get in contact with Ukad.

“He chose not to speak to Ukad but instead speak to a newspaper.

“How anybody can take this man seriously is beyond belief.”

Fury, he added, had never met the farmer, who claims he was originally offered £25,000 to say he sold the meat to Team Fury.

Both Furys returned positive tests for nandrolone in February 2015, but were not charged by Ukad until June 2016.

Between the two dates, Tyson Fury won the WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight titles from Wladimir Klitschko.

Both fighters insisted they “never knowingly or deliberately committed a violation” and were allowed to resume their boxing careers after accepting backdated two-year doping bans.

Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the World Boxing Council, whose belt Fury won from Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in February, said the allegations would have no impact on his reign as champion.

“Personally, I prefer to believe Tyson Fury ahead of someone who has already admitted to lying in legal documents for financial gain,” he said.

Carefoot signed two witness statements in 2017, saying he had provided wild boar to the Furys.

The evidence was reportedly passed to the boxers’ lawyers, Morgan Sports Law, who gave it to anti-doping investigators.

The second included a line that read: “I supplied a range of animal meats and offal to Team Fury, including wild boar and pigs.”

Fury later suffered with depression, and drug and alcohol abuse, during a 30-month spell away from boxing after his win over Klitschko.

Since his return in June 2018 he has been held up as an inspiration as a result of his dramatic weight loss and a run of wins that culminated in him becoming world champion for the second time by beating Wilder to claim the WBC belt.

Meanwhile, Fury’s weekend plans to run a half marathon wearing a Batman costume, with a friend dressed as Robin, were disrupted by coronavirus.

He posted a picture in which he posed in the outfit, pledging instead to go on a run at home.

Ukad failed to respond to multiple requests for comment and Carefoot could also not be reached. — The Daily Telegraph

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