England and Saracens wing Chris Ashton was given a 13-week ban last night after being found guilty of biting Northampton prop Alex Waller during a Premier match on Saturday. The ban means Ashton will miss England's autumn Test series and the start if the European Champions' Cup campaign.
Biting an opponent is one of the most stupid things you can do in sport; so we thought we would remind you of some of the other times sportsman have dug their teeth in!
Back in 1997, Mike Tyson took on Evander Holyfield at the Las Vegas' MGM Grand in a bid to regain the WBA world heavyweight title. Holyfield had surprised many by winning the pair's bout the previous year and the rematch was hotly anticipated.
After Tyson believed Holyfield was using his head excessively, Tyson bit off a section of his opponent's ear and promptly spat it across the ring. Unsurprisingly, Tyson was then disqualified and banned from boxing. However, he did regain his licence 18 months later.
When it comes to biting, Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is a serial offender. Let's start chronologically in 2010 when Suarez was playing for Ajax. During a match with title rivals PSV Suarez had an altercation with Otman Bakkal and in stoppage time bit the midfielder on the shoulder. Suarez was banned for seven games.
In 2013 Suarez was back biting again whilst playing for Liverpool. The Reds were playing Chelsea at Anfield and Suarez clashed with Branislav Ivanovic. The Chelsea defender then went running to the referee to show him something and replays showed Suarez had bitten his marker. The FA retrospectively banned the striker for ten games.
Just a year later Suarez was caught biting again. This time it was on the world stage in a World Cup match between Uruguay and Italy. Suarez bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, but again none of the match officials saw the incident. Following the match FIFA banned Suarez from all football activity for four months and an additional nine-match international ban.
Ashton isn't the first England international in rugby union to receive a ban for biting. Back in 2012 current England captain Dylan Hartley was suspended for eight weeks after biting Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris in a Six Nations match.
Despite there being no television evidence, referee Nigel Owens made a note of the incident after Ferris showed him bite marks on his finger. The lengthy ban still didn't top Hartley's 26-week ban for eye-gouging back in 2007.
Date Posted: Wednesday 21st September 2016
Author: George Crewe