Olympic athletes have been accused by the court of public opinion. We wondered how they might have been cross-examined at the Leveson enquiry
In a sensational extension to its original brief, the Levenson enquiry is calling Olympic athletes to court following reports of match-fixing. The first witness was tiddlywinks competitor Ryan Badboy-Kray, whose statement was examined by Robert Jay.
Robert Jay: Thank you for attending and giving up your valuable time Mr Badboy-Kray. Can we start confirming the personal details provided in your statement? You are Mr Ryan Badboy-Kray of Streatham, London. You state your occupation as professional athlete , and a member of the East Croydon Harriers club where you do your training.
Badboy-Kray: Yes, your honour. That is all correct.
Robert Jay: And you describe your athletic specialism as Tiddlywinks, in which you compete in the super-heavyweight classification.
Badboy-Kray: Correct. Since the age of fifteen when I got too big for the heavyweight class.
Robert Jay: Thank you. And in your career you have won national and international honours including a silver medal at the Commonwealth games in Manchester, and more recently a bronze medal at the Athens Olympic Games. You did not compete at the Beijing Olympics. Why was that?.
Badboy-Kray: I was detained at the pleasure of her Majesty at the time, and could not travel to China, although being based in Wandsworth, I was able to keep up my training.
Robert Jay: In August this year, you won through to represent Great Britain in the London Olympics. Can we go on now to the competition and the final qualifying round for entry into the finals of the event? The newspaper accounts seem consistent in saying that your performance level dipped remarkably from that of previous rounds. Would you agree? Also that your drop in form was accompanied by heavy betting on your opponent who was already eliminated from the competition.
Badboy-Kray: I don’t know nothing about the betting. But as for my performance, that was sadly the case. I was rubbish.
Robert Jay: Do you also agree that you were booed by the crowd, and the referee warned you for not trying hard enough?
Badboy-Kray: I have never not tried my best, your honour
Lord Leveson: [leaning forward] Can we be quite clear about the use of the double negative? Are you saying you knew nothing about the betting and that you always try hard, in every event you compete in?
Badboy-Kray: Yes M’lord. That is what I meant to say
Robert Jay: The newspapers thought differently. I have one headline which described you as a limp-wristed loser. Do you agree with that description?
Badboy-Kray: Er. I wouldn’t put it like that. No. Not at all
Robert Jay Then how would you put it, Mr Badboy-Kray?
Badboy-Kray: It was Tiddlers Wrist. It afflicts professional Tiddlers. It’s like tennis elbow.
Robert Jay: I see. Thank you. Now, turning to another matter I have been asked to put to you. In your post-match interview after you lost in the next round, you did not seem to indicate remorse for your failure, or gratitude to your coach and to the watching public.
Lord Leveson: [rather smugly] To medal, Mr Key. I believe the current term is to medal
Robert Key: I am most grateful M’lord. [turning again to camera, and to Mr B-K] Could you help us understand what has been described as your lack of remorse or gratitude displayed shortly after you failed to medal?
Badboy-Kray: As I stand before you, Sir, I was well-gutted. But it’s my upbringing. Badboy-Krays don’t cry even when there’s serious pain being inflicted . I am truly sorry I did not medal. For that I apologise most sincerely to my coaches, and the press, and the great British public who cheered me on at every wink. I let you all down. I am sincerely sorry.
Lord Leveson: Thank you very much Mr Badboy-Kray. That seems to clear it up nicely. There will now be a brief recess, before we take evidence from our next witness, Lord Sebastian Coe.