So, should drug probe Tyson Fury be on the BBC list for SPOTY?

So, should drug probe Tyson Fury be on the shortlist for BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year with UK Anti-Doping still to rule on wild boar claim?

  • Fury was announced as the sixth and final contender on Tuesday 
  • He defeated Wilder in February to take the WBC world championship belt
  • UK Anti-Doping investigating allegations regarding his failed drugs test in 2015

They like a good black eye in boxing. They like a blind eye almost as much, and maybe the BBC do as well.

So here we are, looking over a shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year, on which Tyson Fury’s name appeared on Tuesday night on the second anniversary of his draw with Deontay Wilder.

Remarkable performance, that one, and yet inferior in so many ways to what we saw when he bludgeoned the American on to a path of feeble excuses in the rematch almost 10 months ago. Incredible.

Tyson Fury (above) was announced as the sixth and final contender on Tuesday

It is hard to subtract anything from Fury’s card when it comes to the craft of fighting.

Equally, we can view him as an inspiration to those with mental illnesses and as a study in image rehabilitation.

Consider at this juncture that when he was shortlisted for the same prize in 2015, it was followed by a petition to have him removed over his various offensive remarks.

That was then. Today, his popularity is broader, even beyond the boundaries of boxing, which has tended to be protective of its own, including those who, like Fury, have had doping suspensions.

Fury defeated Deontay Wilder in a February rematch to take the WBC world championship belt

Fury’s popularity is broader now than when he was first shortlisted for the award in 2015

This is where it gets complex with Fury, though. Because we are not talking about issues parked fully in the past. We are discussing a fighter who is understood to be under investigation by UK Anti-Doping over astonishing allegations from a Lancashire farmer that he was offered £25,000 by a member of Fury’s team to lie about how Fury failed his drugs test in 2015.

The investigation, sparked by reports from Guy Walters and me in the Mail on Sunday in March, could yet lead to a second ban if Fury is charged and then found guilty of an offence of tampering with the original investigation.

His co-promoter Frank Warren previously dismissed the allegations made by Martin Carefoot, taking aim at the farmer’s claims in the Mail on Sunday that he had lied when making written statements to Fury’s legal team in 2017 to say he had supplied the Furys with uncastrated wild boar. The wild boar was part of an explanation for nandrolone metabolites in Fury’s sample, so Carefoot’s words warranted exploration.

Carefoot has since said he wants to play no part in any investigation, and boxing continues to keep the WBC’s heavyweight champion on a pedestal. But one can’t help feeling there is an elephant in the SPOTY room. Or a wild boar, perhaps.

Martin Carefoot claims Team Fury offered him £25,000 to provide false evidence to UKAD 

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