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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
PA Wire/PA Images Rutherford was involved in a bizarre chains of events today.
# War of Words
Confusion reigns as Greg Rutherford pulls out of SPOTY over Fury and then changes his mind
We haven’t heard the end of this saga.

OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST Greg Rutherford has admitted he wrote to the BBC asking to be left out of the Sports Personality of the Year awards later this month because of the inclusion of boxer Tyson Fury.

But in a series of Tweets this afternoon, the long jumper says he changed his mind about pulling out to ‘make his family proud.’

It’s the latest in a bizarre chain of events after heavyweight boxing champion Fury sparked controversy over comments he made on women, homosexuality and abortion.

Fury is a fellow nominee for the prestigious award following his victory over Wladimir Klitschko last month but his controversial views have put the BBC under pressure to remove his name from the shortlist.

A petition to have Fury removed has now reached 126,000 signatures and in a statement released shortly after 3pm, Rutherford said he wasn’t withdrawing from the ceremony.

However, a short while later he took to social media to admit he had pulled out but has now reconsidered and will be attending the event in Belfast on 20 December.

27-year-old Fury won the WBA, IBF and WBO titles at the end of November, leading the BBC to add the fighter, as well as Andy Murray, to an extended shortlist.

In a statement released this week, the BBC insisted its nominees were based purely on recognition of their sporting achievement.

“Tyson Fury’s victory and subsequent crowning as world heavyweight champion was widely covered by media outlets and his inclusion on the shortlist is similarly recognition of his sporting achievement – it is not about endorsing his personal views. It will be for the public to decide who will be crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015.”

The response from the broadcaster prompted Fury to take to Twitter:

Earlier, the Sports Journalists’ Association withdrew Fury’s invitation to attend the British Sports Awards which is being held in London next week.

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