Romanian team accused of training the carp to favour their bait at the World Carp Angling Championship, putting other countries at disadvantage (Reuters)
England has accused Romania of cheating at the World Carp Angling Championship by training the fish to favour the type of bait they used.
The Korda England Carp Team finished 18th in the competition held at Lake Corbu on Romania's Black Sea coast.
But Ian Huntington, England team manager, said the host country had fed the carp on one single type of soluble bait for months before the event, training the fish to favour its taste. The England team was unable to get hold of the winning bait.
He also said other countries in the competition had an advantage over England by finding out what type of bait was being used, he claimed.
"Consequently countries that had been there and practised a number of times at the venue were aware and managed to get local bait to enable them to compete," he said.
"The neighbouring Bulgarians commissioned their own bait, based on what had been fed to the fish. Portugal and Serbia had contacts in Romania who provided bait.
"We only discovered after the match that the fish were fed daily throughout the summer by boat on the Romanian bait from fixed lines parallel with the bank.
"It is obvious that any team fishing with the particular type of bait would do well and the rest would really struggle to get a bite."
Romania went on to win the event, with Bulgaria, Serbia and Portugal placing second, third and fourth respectively.
Romania caught a total of 1704.08 kg - six times more than England's 373.44kg.
Huntington said: "Hard lessons have been learnt and it has been a very difficult experience to pick the team and ourselves up after this event. We are extremely disappointed that the water was fed with a single bait.
"While this is not strictly against the rules, and the Romanians freely admitted to doing it, we feel that there is a moral issue here, and question whether this practice is in the spirit of fair play."
He warned that that this sort of tactic could result in the competition breaking up.
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