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TYSON FURY accused the BBC of “taking away” his rights by including him on the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist against his wishes, unearthed accounts show.

Tyson Fury accused the BBC of taking away his rights (Image: Getty)

 

The BBC’s annual programme anointing the Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) returns to screens this evening at 6:45pm on BBC One. After a stellar year of UK sport the year’s nominees include swimmer Adam Peaty, tennis player Emma Raducanu, footballer Raheem Sterling, Paralympic cyclist Dame Sarah Storey, diver Tom Daley, and boxer Fury. The bookies’ firm favourite to take the SPOTY crown is tennis ace Raducanu, whose US Open triumph made her the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade in the Seventies.

 

 

The victory also saw Raducanu, who was just 18 at the time, become the first singles qualifier in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title.

Raducanu is the bookies favourite for the award

 

Fury joins the tennis star on the list, after a year in which he cemented himself as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time by defeating Deontay Wilder in the pair’s third bout.

 

 

The dramatic victory saw the Gypsy King retain his WBC title and lineal champion status.

 

 

Despite Fury’s boxing success, his inclusion on the BBC SPOTY shortlist raised eyebrows after the boxer protested at his inclusion last year and even threatened to sue the BBC if he was nominated.

 

 

Speaking on the Jonathan Ross Show in December last year Fury explained his desire to be removed as a nominee for the BBC’s award.

 

 

The boxer said: “I’ve asked to be taken off the list. They’ve not listened.

Tyson Fury knocked out Deontay Wilder for the second time (Image: Getty)

 

“I’ve sent them a legal letter to be taken off. They’re still not listening.

 

“So they’re trying to take away my rights as a person, not to do something that I don’t want to do.

 

 

“My name shouldn’t be on there if I don’t want it on there. It’s a free country. They are doing something which I don’t want to participate in.”

 

 

When pressed by presenter Jonathan Ross as to why Fury was so ardently against his inclusion on the list, the boxer replied: “The reason is, I don’t want an award from someone to say I’m a sports personality.

Fury has been nominated for the award four times (Image: BBC)

 

“I know what I am and who I am, and I know what I’ve achieved, I know what I’ve come back from. I don’t need a glass trophy.

 

 

“I’m the people’s champion. I don’t need this glamorous trophy to say who I am and what I’ve done.”

 

 

He added: “If I don’t wish to be on that list, surely I shouldn’t be forced into doing something I don’t want to do.”

 

 

Fury has been involved in a long-term feud with the BBC which began after his historic victory over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

 

 

That year his SPOTY award nomination faced massive backlash after a petition to have him removed from the shortlist generated over 140,000 signatures.

 

 

The reaction came after Fury made a number of sexist and homophobic remarks.

Raheem Sterling is on the shortlist after a terrific year with England (Image: Getty)

 

After his rematch victory with Wilder last year, the boxer was nominated again yet Fury threatened the broadcaster with legal action if they did not remove him from the shortlist.

 

 

The boxer told the Telegraph: “It means nothing to me and I don’t need it or want it.

 

 

“In fact, they will be hearing from my solicitors if they do put me on the list. Give it to someone who needs it. I don’t.

 

 

“We know who the sports personality of the year is anyway ‒ it’s me. I am the sports personality.

 

 

“Who does what I do, goes through a war in Las Vegas, entertains the fans and then sings to the audience?”

 

 

This year Fury has claimed he will refuse to give a speech if he wins the SPOTY award.

 

 

In an interview with the Daily Mail the boxer admitted he was more interested in winning the American ESPY award, but also joked that his fourth nomination for the BBC prize is now a record.

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