Horse-doping, bloodgate and more
We like to think that we keep our noses pretty clean when it comes to sportsmanship in this country. And, compared to many other nations, we do. But today’s news about horse-doping is not the first time British sport is hit with a major scandal, and it more than likely won’t be the last.
This week’s horse-doping scandal
This week, horseracing faces one of its biggest doping scandals ever. Today it emerged that 11 horses from the stable of Godlophin trainer Al Zarooni have tested positive for anabolic steroids. Zarooni now faces a British Horseracing inquiry. The 11 horses have trotted, sorry, totted up prize money worth more than $2m (£1.31m) in total. A statement on Godolphin’s website said: “Al Zarooni has admitted that he was responsible for the administration of the prohibited substances.”
Rugby is the archetypal Englishman’s game – but almost four years ago it got itself into a bloody mess when Harlequins winger Tom Williams faked a blood injury during a Heineken Cup quarter-final. Williams was given a fake blood capsule to bite down on by Quins director of rugby Dean Richards so that teammate Nick Evans could be tactically substituted in. Richards had offered Williams a pay rise in return for cheating, telling him to keep the capsule in his sock. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), Williams dropped the capsule first time around – and was busted by the TV cameras. Harlequins got a £260,000 fine, Williams got a year-long ban, and Richards got a three-year ban. Team physio Steph Brennan was also banned for two years.
If you know anything about Formula 1, you’ll be used to seeing huge piles of cash sloshing around – but the £49.2m fine incurred by McLaren is still enough to make even the hardiest of racing fans wince. The F1 team were busted in 2007 when a 780-page technical document on Ferrari’s F1 cars was found in the home of McLaren’s head designer, which had been passed to him by Ferrari mechanic Nigel Stepney. Further phonecalls between the two teams backed up evidence, and McLaren’s fate was sealed.
Sheffield Wednesday’s 1964 match-fixing mayhem
A mere two years before the ultimate glory days of English football, the sport was hit by one of its biggest ever revelations. Jimmy Gauld, a former professional player for various teams, had moved into match fixing. In 1964, he sold his story to the Sunday People, revealing all – and in the process took down several Sheffield Wednesday players including former England star Peter Swan. Gauld was imprisoned for four years.
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