The Daily Telegraph’s Athletics Correspondent Ben Bloom has raised the question of why Tyson Fury has celebrated his imminent return to boxing without apology.
In his latest column posted on Wednesday, Bloom wrote on several situations in the sport he covers where athletes are branded ‘drugs cheats’ for testing positive and serve a subsequent ban.
Bloom namely points to American sprinter Justin Gatlin, himself labelled a ‘two-time cheat’ and still booed when defeating Usain Bolt in his last race when completely clean of adverse findings.
The argument put forward by The Telegraph reporter is that Gatlin faces the wrath of fans, whilst Fury is seen as a loveable rogue and seemingly gets away with what should constitute a mandatory four-year ban.
Citing the consumption of ‘eating uncastrated boar’s testicles’ is questionable in itself, although Bloom points to the botched handling of the matter by the UK Anti-Doping Agency.
What Bloom was expecting, as in all other sports than boxing, was an apology or some sort of recognition from Fury of wrongdoing – which has so far not been forthcoming – even by his promoter.
– Athlete gets two-year doping ban = drugs cheat.
– Cyclist gets two-year doping ban = drugs cheat.
– Heavyweight boxing champion gets two-year doping ban = nothing to see here, get back in the ring, welcome back.
The double-standards are staggering.
— Ben Bloom (@benbloomsport) December 12, 2017
Mick Hennessy has been widely criticised for sending out a tweet outlining that Tyson and his cousin Hughie had been exonorated – something that couldn’t really be further from the truth.
“Tyson and Hughie Fury have proven their innocence,” said a Hennessy statement, before stating only a double sentence over the two-year backdated one they received would result in guilt.
“Athletes proven to be drugs cheats get a four-year automatic ban and certainly not backdated,” the Hennessy post went on, in direct reference to replies to an original tweet suggesting the Fury’s were not innocent having been suspended.
“Reason they agreed to backdated period of ineligibility compromise is so they can focus on boxing and not be in court for next two years,” it concluded.
Whatever the situation, both Fury’s careers are now under a black cloud in some quarters and past achievements have been wiped from their respective records.
As Tyson and Hughie begin a new chapter, plenty of athletes are not afforded the same luxury and Bloom seems to have put down a solid argument that it’s one rule for all other athletes except when it comes to higher profile boxers.
The amount of money at stake at the top level – especially in the top division – surely would have some influence on that.