Undefeated heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s boxing career is reportedly in “serious jeopardy” after “explosive allegations” surfaced Saturday, according to Daily Mail. The report states that a member of Fury’s team allegedly promised a bribe to a farmer in exchange for false statements to help cover up a failed PED drug test in 2015.
Per Daily Mail, a farmer from Lancaster, Martin Carefoot, alleged that he was promised £25,000 to “lie” by stating he supplied wild boar to Fury and his cousin, Hughie, even though he had not.
Additionally, Carefoot said he signed witness statements for Team Fury which stated he was the supplier of the meat that Fury’s team used as a defense after the failed test. Those statements were then forwarded to the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) organization via lawyers.
Per Daily Mail:
In 2017, Carefoot completed two signed witness statements to say he provided wild boar to the Furys which were passed to the boxers’ lawyers, Morgan Sports Law, who gave them 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’. Carefoot now claims those statements, which are in the possession of The Mail on Sunday, were lies.
But Carefoot revealed to Daily Mail that he supplied false statements because he was promised £25,000 (equal to about $37,000).
“I just went along with it, and they always dangled this carrot that I was going to get paid,” Carefoot said per Daily Mail. “When things got quite serious, they offered me a sum of money before it went to court in London and a sum of money after. I went along with them because, I suppose, in my own way I was just helping them out.”
Fury’s Long & Complicated History With the UKAD
Fury was charged with an anti-doping violation in June 2016 when the UKAD found elevated levels of the banned steroid nandrolone in one of his samples dating back to February 2015. Fury denied taking PEDS, claiming he only tested positive due to having eaten contaminated wild boar meat.
But Fury failed another UKAD test just about a month before his planned rematch against Wladimir Klitschko in 2016. This time, though, Fury tested positive for cocaine, and the fighter subsequently revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone he was suffering from mental health issues including depression, suicidal ideation, and drug addiction.
Those two tests led to a tumultuous battle with the UKAD that almost ended up bankrupting the company before the two sides compromised in December 2017 for a retroactive two-year ban.
According to Daily Mail, that two-year ban was “lenient” and handed out in part because both fighters allegedly “insisted to…investigators…that they never intentionally cheated.”
Fury Fresh off Comeback-Capping Victory
Last month, Fury defeated Deontay Wilder by seventh-round stoppage to cap one of the most remarkable comebacks in heavyweight history. After gaining over 100 pounds and battling mental health disorders, Fury returned following a 32-month layoff in August 2018 to earn his way back to title contention with victories over Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta.
Fury then faced WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, in December 2018. The undefeated stalwarts battled to a split draw. After both fighters picked up two more wins, Fury and Wilder met again for a rematch in February 2020.
In that fight, Fury dominated and stopped Wilder in seven rounds to complete his epic comeback and reclaim a share of the heavyweight championship.
Is Fury’s Boxing Career in Jeapoardy Again?
Fury is currently the WBC, The Ring, and Transnational Boxing Board heavyweight champion. When he shockingly defeated Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015, Fury had grabbed the title honors for the first time by snagging the WBA, WBO, and IBF belts along with The Ring and Transnational Boxing Rankings Board titles.
But it seems now the undefeated heavyweight champion’s career might be in jeopardy again just when he had finally gotten back to the top of the sport.
According to Daily Mail, the UKAD will “review any potential evidence in relation to any anti-doping (offense), and take investigatory action where necessary.”
The first Fury and UKAD battle almost shelved the heavyweight’s career for good. Might the rematch do the same thing?
Promoter & WBC Stand Behind Fury
Tyson Fury’s promoter Frank Warren stood behind his fighter, which Daily Mail detailed.
“Back then, I was not promoting Tyson,” Warren said per Daily Mail. “These allegations are totally unfounded and libelous. You are dealing with a man (Carefoot) who is an admitted liar.”
Warren went on to question Carefoot’s motives and trustworthiness.
“Did Tyson ever have a conversation with this man? Which supposed member of Fury’s team did have a conversation with this man? You are relying on the word of a liar,” Warren said. “Did he lie back then or is he lying now? This is a man who was willing to commit perjury.”
Moreover, Warren told The Sun that Carefoot had revealed this same story to Warren back in October and had asked for money to keep it out of the media.
“I told him to clear off and take it up with UK anti-doping, instead he has clearly sold his story to a newspaper instead,” Warren said per The Sun. “Tyson has never ever met this man and his story is total bulls***.”
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman also threw his support behind the heavyweight champ.
“Personally, I prefer to believe Tyson Fury ahead of someone who has already admitted to lying in legal documents for financial gain,” Sulaiman said per The Sun. “The person who has claimed he accepted money to lie should be the one on trial, in my personal opinion, especially when he has waited five years to tell his story,”
Additionally, Sulaiman concluded the alleged offense happened way before Fury captured the WBC title anyway.
“Secondly, around this time Tyson was not involved with the WBC, he did not fight Klitschko for the WBC belt, it was for other titles, so this issue does not impact on him being our heavyweight world champion,” Sulaiman said per The Sun.
Fury Silent Over Allegations So Far
Fury’s weekend plans were halted, but only by the coronavirus outbreak. He posted a picture on Instagram but made no reference to the recent allegations made by Carefoot. His only words after the story broke were part of a picture he posted on social media in which he and a friend posed in Batman and Robin costumes.
Fury Could Face up to an 8-Year Ban
According to Daily Mail on Sunday, the UKAD is reportedly “poised to open a new investigation” over the allegations, and the consequences would be drastic. That same report suggests Fury could potentially receive up to an eight-year ban from boxing over the matter.
Fury is currently 31. The fighter recently suggested that his retirement was near, so it’s safe to say that if such a ban occurred, Fury’s boxing career would be shelved for good. Moreover, the heavyweight champion’s tumultuous career would end on a down note.
Fury’s highs and lows have been some of the most volatile the sports world has ever seen. While the pattern would fit the personal and professional career the popular champion enjoyed over his dozen years in the sport, how it all ended would disappoint many.
Sure, happy endings in boxing are exceedingly rare, but a popular champion like Fury’s career coming to a close in this way would seem like a low blow. Worse yet, it would be one the fighter allegedly caused for himself.