Rare to have such defeaning silence form the Gypsy King
How very apt for these difficult times that Tyson Fury appears to be washing his hands of a problem. How very predictable that the wider sport of boxing seems so keen to do the same. It has been precisely a week since we revealed those astonishing allegations from a farmer with a surreal story, and it has been six days since the Daily Mail reported UK Anti-Doping will investigate.
But what have we heard from the WBC heavyweight champion of the world? Where is the convincing explanation? Nothing and nowhere, and so we wait.
There has been a statement and a column from Frank Warren, and both rubbished the story. Fury’s co-promoter was not involved at the time in 2017 when Martin Carefoot signed two witness statements for the Furys’ legal team to say he supplied uncastrated wild boar to Tyson Fury, his cousin Hughie Fury and their wider operation. Wild boar was cited in the two fighters’ legal defence to UKAD as a possible explanation for their positive tests in February 2015 for metabolites of the banned steroid nandrolone.
Carefoot now says he lied in those witness statements, in return for an unhonoured promise of £25,000. Remarkable allegations which, we can clarify, were not made in return for money from this newspaper. Warren’s take is to ask how can you trust a man who admits to being a liar? That will be for UKAD to untangle.
But where are the Furys in all this?
The closest we’ve come to knowing Tyson’s thoughts is what Warren said in his TalkSPORT column this week: ‘Tyson’s not bothered about it at all. He just thinks it’s a load of rubbish and it’s a lie.’
Beyond that, zip. A day after our story, he took to social media to post a picture of him and an acquaintance dressed as Batman and Robin, but no mention of the elephant in the room. But answers are needed. Was the signed testimony from Carefoot passed by Fury’s lawyers (with no awareness of any possible falsity, we should add) to UKAD as part of their defence against charges brought in June 2016? We understand it was. With that being said, and if we take Carefoot at his latest word, it is extremely serious. Yet serious is a relative term. For instance, athletics, for all its troubles, is serious enough to have banned the entire nation of Russia from its major events. And boxing? Boxing is different. Consider the words of Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the WBC, whose heavyweight title Fury won in such style last month.
Speaking to The Athletic, he said: ‘My first reaction is — what credibility could someone who allegedly received money to lie have now? The WBC has to go by the multiple tests that Fury has performed in the Clean Boxing Program and all have been negative. Unless there is a formal case put forward, I don’t see this matter other than fake news.’
Thorough, Mauricio. Thorough. One would think that no sport needs to be more diligent on doping claims than one in which lives are at risk. This is the sport where Anthony Joshua’s slated opponent last year, Jarrell Miller, failed three drug tests but received only a six-month ban. A further three months on he signed a deal with Top Rank.
It co-promotes Fury with Warren and has chosen to stay silent. It put out a statement with Warren and management group, MTK Global, which opened with talk of ‘the publication of a number of misleading and misrepresentative statements and articles made by third parties relating to Tyson Fury’. They then stated that Fury has a third fight with Deontay Wilder. Good to know. Thank you. But what about that elephant behind you?