An angler who won a prestigious continental competition has been stripped of his title amid cheating allegations.
Marty Booth, of Hartlepool, was one of more than 1,000 anglers taking part in the three-day Paul Roggeman European Open Beach Championships held between Spurn Point and Bridlington on February 15.
He was crowned the winner of the competition, receiving £4,000 in prize money, as well as a trophy and fishing rods.
But Mr Booth was dramatically stripped of his title after it was discovered he had reportedly been cheating, reports Hull Live.
It is understood he landed his prizewinning catch outside the competing hours of the contest, BBC has also reported.
East Riding Council, which runs the event, has since confirmed the top prize has been re-allocated following an investigation.
The new winner has now been named as Chris Fisher, who was originally crowned second place.
Fellow competitor Matthew Hope, 44, of Hull, said: “To find out that the person who was named winner was actually a cheat was absolutely sickening.
“And how he had the gall and the blind cheek to stand on stage in front of all the other anglers at the competition and accept his trophy, rods and prize money while we all cheered him on is just disgusting.
“People come from all over, Europe included, and spend a lot of money to enter the competition as well as months of preparation in advance – I’ve entered seven times and a lot of hard work goes in to competing, not just for me, but for all anglers involved.”
Teesside Live has attempted to contact Mr Booth for comment regarding the allegation.
A spokesman for East Riding Council said: “Following the conclusion of the 2019 Paul Roggeman European Open Beach Championships and after an ongoing investigation, a decision has been made to disqualify a competitor which has changed this year’s results.
“As the organisers, East Riding of Yorkshire Council takes any breach of competitor rules very seriously.
“Our aim is to deliver a fair, honest and open event that can be enjoyed by all competitors and the Council will not tolerate anyone bringing the reputation of the event into disrepute.”
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