The newly-crowned British world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has been warned about making offensive non-boxing remarks by the British Boxing Board of Control. The controversial boxer has previously compared homosexuality and abortion with paedophilia.
The 27-year-old also said in 2015 that a woman's "best place is on her back". This sparked outrage amongst the British public with almost 140,000 people signing a petition calling for Fury to be removed from the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.
The Wythenshawe fighter, who trains with his dad Peter and brother Hughie, has repeatedly denied being a homophobe and did apologise for his comments at the BBC SPOTY awards saying: "If I've said anything in the past that's hurt anybody, I apologise."
After a meeting at the BBBoC on Wednesday they released the following statement: "Fury has made comments in the media that have caused offence to members of our society. However, there is no suggestion that he has broken the law by exercising his right to freedom of expression."
The BBBoC added that they cannot approve sanctions against Fury because he had not broken any laws and they could not interfere with his freedom of expression.They said: "In such circumstances, the stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control have been advised that it cannot interfere with his basic human rights. Having said that, the stewards of the board have made it clear to him that as world heavyweight champion, arguably the holder of the most prestigious title in sport, there are heavy responsibilities upon him to avoid making controversial, non-boxing comments.
"He has assured the stewards that he understands the responsibilities upon him and has expressed regret that he has caused offence to others, which was never his intention." Before the BBC SPOTY ceremony, which saw around 40 people protest against his appearance outside the arena, his inclusion on the list was debated by MPs, with shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher calling for him to be dropped.
In November, Fury had shocked the sporting world when he outpointed Wladimir Klitschko to become WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion. He has since been stripped of the IBF title after not accepting a mandatory challenge.
A rematch between Klitschko, 39, and Fury will take place this summer. Earlier this month Fury stormed into fellow heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's ring after the American beat Artur Szpilka in Brooklyn.