The press association has reported that the long-lasting battle between the UK Anti-Doping Agency and former unified world Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and cousin Hughie had cost the UK anti-doping body in excess of £575k in legal fees, following fears that if the case had prolonged further would have cost the agency even more financially. The case of the Fury’s closed in December last year following an agreement to come to an agreement resulting in a backdated ban for Tyson from December 2015 to December 2017, effectively clearing Tyson to return to the sport with no restrictions from UKAD following the compromise from all parties involved.
Chief Executive of UKAD in December that the costs of the case were substantial amidst fears that Tyson Fury could take financial action against UKAD, of which the agency receives £5 million per year from the taxpayer.
Despite the costs, Chief executive Nicole Sapstead said: “The money spent by UK Anti-Doping in the Fury case shows that if we determine there is evidence of doping, we will pursue a case against an athlete, coach or doctor, regardless of their public profile or status.
“In this case, two anti-doping rule violations were upheld and two-year bans were given to each athlete.”
However, an admittance from the chief executive fears that athletes in future could well target the limited funding UKAD receives as a tactic to prolong affairs in an attempt to reduce or avoid bans for anti-doping under the UKAD agency. Sapstead also admits even if an athlete is unsuccessful in this tactic in prolonging investigations, it would increase external costs for UKAD and put extra pressures on staff internally time wise.
Sapstead remained defiant and quashed rumors that UKAD would be insolvent resulting from the case regarding the Fury’s, insisting that as long as there is evidence of doping, UKAD will pursue any individual regardless of profile or status.
“The money spent in the Fury case shows that if we determine there is evidence of doping, we will pursue a case against an athlete, coach or doctor, regardless of their public profile or status.
“In this case, two anti-doping rule violations were upheld and two-year bans given to each athlete.
“As an arm’s length body of government, we are always careful about how we spend public money, and the consistent support of the UKAD board and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport ensures our legal decisions are made for the right reasons and not financial ones.”