12 August 2016
A pigeon racing champion has been handed a lifetime ban from the sport following allegations he cheated to win a race from France.
Eamon Kelly, 52, was accused of cheating in this year's Tarbes Grand National, a blue riband event.
He allegedly registered 14 birds for the race, but kept them at home while sending decoys to Tarbes, France.
The National Flying Club said the 52-year-old, from Didcot, admitted to senior members that he cheated.
'Sad day for pigeon racing'
In a statement the association said: "This follows the falsification of [his] race entry for Tarbes Grand National race dated 19 July 2016.
"Mr E Kelly admitted [cheating] in telephone conversations with the president, chairman and secretary of the National Flying Club after the falsification was confirmed."
Mr Kelly won the 2015 Tarbes Grand National and was also an official race controller for the National Flying Club.
Before the allegations were uncovered, he was due to receive £1,500 in prize money and a £10,000 Ford Fiesta for defending the title.