The Lancashire pig farmer who could knock out Tyson Fury: Witness, 70, sensationally withdraws evidence that helped to clear the world champion of drug cheating
- Martin Carefoot is retracting evidence that formed part of Fury’s defence
- Mr Carefoot claims he was offered £25,000 to concoct a bizarre series of lies
- At the heart of which was a claim to have supplied wild boar meat to Fury’s team
When British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury stopped Deontay Wilder last month to become the WBC champion of the world, it was regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.
Mired by admissions of cocaine use, allegations of homophobia and battles with mental illness, Fury’s victory was hailed not merely as a supreme display of boxing skill but as a personal redemption.
But now the 6ft 9in ‘Gypsy King’ is facing an unlikely new opponent – a 70-year-old farmer from Lancashire who, despite his age and stature, could actually knock Fury out of the ring for good.
Today in The Mail on Sunday, Martin Carefoot is sensationally retracting evidence that formed part of Fury’s defence against a 2016 doping charge. Mr Carefoot claims he was offered £25,000 to concoct a bizarre series of lies – at the heart of which was a claim to have supplied wild boar meat to Fury’s team.
Today in The Mail on Sunday, Martin Carefoot (pictured) is sensationally retracting evidence that formed part of Fury’s defence against a 2016 doping charge. Mr Carefoot claims he was offered £25,000 to concoct a bizarre series of lies – at the heart of which was a claim to have supplied wild boar meat to Fury’s team
So serious is Mr Carefoot’s allegation that it could spark a fresh investigation by the UK Anti-Doping organisation (UKAD) into Fury’s alleged use of anabolic steroids.
‘I feel fed up with the lies and deceit,’ he said. ‘The public needs to know the truth. I’m happy the public know what all this is about. I feel cheated and used.’
Fury and his cousin Hughie, a fellow boxer, sparked controversy when they tested positive for anabolic steroid nandrolone in February 2015 following a urine test. In September 2016, Fury was accused of refusing to provide another sample for further testing.
Both men denied doping, and maintained that the presence of the banned substance was because they had taken contaminated fitness supplements or, in a defence that caught the public imagination, because they had regularly eaten uncastrated wild boar.
They had science on their side as in some instances, wild boar meat and offal – which includes entrails and internal organs – is thought to bring about a rise in natural levels of nandrolone in the body.
Wild boar meat and offal – which includes entrails and internal organs – is thought to bring about a rise in natural levels of nandrolone in the body
And their team at legal firm Morgan Sports Law submitted evidence showing that Mr Carefoot had regularly supplied wild boar meat, sending it to their gym in Bolton. Indeed, Mr Carefoot had provided two written statements confirming that he had been approached by a member of the Furys’ team, who ‘was looking to purchase large amounts of high quality, fresh meat on a regular basis for Tyson Fury and Hughie Fury – two professional boxers who had very specific diets with high-protein requirements’.
‘I supplied one fully butchered wild boar pig to Team Fury generally every three to six weeks,’ Mr Carefoot claimed in his statement.
‘Although some customers would only want specific cuts, Team Fury were keen to utilise the whole animal, including liver, kidney and other offal.
‘Once the animal was slaughtered/butchered, I would place the meat in plastic trays – which were clearly labelled.’
In the event, the allegations that the two boxers had knowingly used steroids were not proven but both accepted a backdated two-year ban, which allowed them to continue their careers – a comparatively minor penalty.
Yet today – in a confession that potentially undermines UKAD’s judgment and the Furys’ defence – Mr Carefoot claims that his statements were completely fabricated. ‘I never supplied wild boar to Tyson Fury or Team Fury,’ he said. ‘I have never kept wild boar. I have never killed a wild boar.’
Today Mr Carefoot is semi-retired and runs a mixed farm at Longridge, near Preston.
In the past, however, he kept pigs and ran a butchers shop in the town. Explaining his involvement with Fury’s drug case, Mr Carefoot said it started when he was approached by a friend, who knew members of the boxer’s entourage, one evening in late 2016.
Last night, Tyson Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren – who did not represent the boxer at the time of the alleged deception – angrily dismissed Mr Carefoot’s claims. Pictured: boxer Tyson Fury
‘They were in a mess and they were panicking,’ he said. ‘They came to me and said they had a problem. They said just a simple letter to say that I had supplied wild boar. It will help them get them off the hook and I said, ‘OK then, I’ll do what you say.’ I knew the bloke very well – he’d done me a few favours.’
Mr Carefoot provided a handwritten letter that same evening. Addressed ‘to whom it may concern’, the letter stated: ‘I have supplied uncastrated wild boar to Team Fury at Bolton on a regular basis from January to Oct 2015 as and when required. I also supplied rabbits and pheasants and free-range chicken from time to time.’
As the months passed, however, Mr Carefoot found himself obliged to stand by his lies, although he claims he never received the £25,000 he was promised. At one stage, he was asked to provide photographs of the wild boar on his farm.
Farcically, he was asked to make sure the pictures featured the boars’ intact testicles clearly.
Mr Carefoot did supply photographs – but says they came from wild boar at Bowland Wild Boar Park in Chipping, Lancashire.
Last night, Tyson Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren – who did not represent the boxer at the time of the alleged deception – angrily dismissed Mr Carefoot’s claims.
‘These allegations are totally unfounded and libellous,’ said Mr Warren. ‘You are dealing with a man who is an admitted liar. Did Tyson ever have a conversation with this man? Which supposed member of Fury’s team did have a conversation with this man? You are relying on the word of a liar. Did he lie back then or is he lying now? This is a man who was willing to commit perjury.’
A UKAD spokesman said last night: ‘We will always review any potential evidence in relation to any anti-doping offence, and take investigatory action where necessary. If anyone has information that could be of interest to UKAD and its investigations on any matter, we urge them to contact us.’
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