Tyson Fury’s boxing career has been anything other than ordinary. An unbeaten world champion by the age of 27, he seemed prepared to reign heavyweight boxing for years to come after beating Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf, Germany. Then it all came crashing down. Depression, substance abuse, and a lack of motivation saw his weight skyrocket up to 330 lbs. Fury wouldn’t compete again for nearly three years.
And then the specter of performance enhancing drugs threatened to undercut his sporting accomplishments as well. In June of 2016, the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) agency reported that Fury had failed a drug test for the steroid nandrolone back in February of 2015. Fury claimed that the substance had entered his system as a result of eating the meat of an uncastrated boar. And a Lancashire-based farmer by the name of Martin Carefoot backed up Fury’s claim, providing two signed witness statements to Fury’s lawyers and UKAD—that he sold Fury the potentially tainted meat.
The case dragged on for more than a year, with UKAD eventually suspending Fury for two years, stretching back to December of 2015. Fury regained his license in January of 2018 and returned to the ring just a few months later. However, the Daily Mail now reports that Carefoot is changing his story.
The farmer, who provided key testimony for Fury’s case, now says that he was offered £25,000 by someone involved with Team Fury to make his claim that he sold Fury the tainted meat. Money that he also claims he was never paid.
“I have never kept wild boar. I have never killed a wild boar,” Carefoot told the Daily Mail.
“‘I suppose if I’d had to,’ he added when asked if he was willing to commit perjury. “I was in too deep. They were dangling this carrot. I thought ‘You’re going to get 25 grand for this, it’s not a hanging matter.’ So I went along with it.”
Fury’s manager, Frank Warren, has wasted no time in lambasting Carefoot for these new allegations in a statement to the BBC—claiming the man first contacted Warren asking for money to keep the story quiet, and has now gone to the press rather than contacting UKAD directly.
“The farmer making these outrageous allegations sent me a letter last October, full of errors and basically telling me he had committed perjury by signing statements under oath and lying.
“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. Tyson has never met this man in his life. What a load of rubbish. We’ll leave this with Ukad to look into and don’t expect it to go any further.
For their part UKAD has given a statement that they will “review any potential evidence in relation to any anti-doping offence, and take investigatory action when necessary.” If they find evidence that Carefoot’s new claims are valid, that could mean as much as an 8-year suspension for the once-again dominant heavyweight champ.
After returning to action in 2018, Fury has returned to his winning ways. Going 5-0-1 over a stretch of 21 months. He most recently defeated Deontay Wilder in a rematch of their 2018 draw, to win the WBC, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles. For the moment, the WBC appears to be standing fully behind Fury, with WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, “Personally, I prefer to believe Tyson Fury ahead of someone who has already admitted to lying in legal documents for financial gain.”