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Suarez isn't the only player to bite opponents! 8 infamous biting incidents in sports history you probably didn't know of

Are Luis Suarez and Mike Tyson the only sportspersons to have bitten opponents? Nope, there have been more!


Updated:June 25, 2014, 4:33 PM IST
Suarez isn't the only player to bite opponents! 8 infamous biting incidents in sports history you probably didn't know of
Are Luis Suarez and Mike Tyson the only sportspersons to have bitten opponents? Nope, there have been more!

Controversy's child Luis Suarez caught himself in the middle of another biting scandal. The Uruguayan striker, in a bizarre reaction bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder. This isn't the first time he has been involved in something like this. In the past, Suarez had bitten PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal in November 2010 and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, facing a 10 match ban. You'll be surprised how Suarez isn't the only professional sportsperson to be involved in incidents to biting opponents. Of course everyone remembers the infamous Mike Tyson bite, but there have been at least eight such incidents in the past where players have been disqualified for unsavoury behaviour on field. Here's a quick look at all these incidents in history.


Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield. During their 1997 heavyweight fight in Las Vegas, Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s right ear as they clutched in the third round. The piece of ear was found in the ring but was unable to be reattached. Tyson was disqualified, fined $3 million and banned for life – though he got the ban overturned.

Basketball player Wayne “Tree” Rollins from Atlanta Hawks bit a finger on Boston Celtics’ Danny Ainge’s right hand, leading to a tetanus shot and stitches! The headline in the Boston Herald famously read, “Tree Bites Man” after this legendary brawl.

In 2001, Sevilla midfielder Francisco Gallardo celebrated a goal by teammate Jose Antonio Reyes by biting on Reyes’ genitals. The Royal Spanish Football Federation suspended and fined him for violating “sporting dignity and decorum.” Why did he do it? Because he could, said Gallardo: “I am sure I didn’t offend anyone. I don’t think what I did was very noteworthy.”

In another incident in football Jermain Defoe seemed to have nibbled the arm of former Liverpool man Javier Mascherano in 2006. Surprisingly, the Tottenham forward went unpunished for that action on Masch who then played for West Ham United. Defoe didn’t think it was that big of a deal however, stating: ‘It’s been blown out of all proportion. I reacted in a bit of a mischievous way; my character is a little like that at times.’

In the NHL, Ottowa Senators’ Jarkko Ruutu took a piece from the finger of Buffalo Sabres’ Andrew Peters; Ruutu was suspended for two games and fined $31,700.

In 2011, Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup finals took a bizarre turn at the end of the first period when Vancouver’s Alex Burrows appeared to bite Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. A big scrum broke out behind the Bruins net and replays showed Bergeron’s right index finger enter Burrows’ mouth. The Canucks winger looked as if he bit down on Bergeron’s finger before they were separated.

In 1996, Auburn’s Robert Baker found his celebrations cut short when Uga, the mascot of American College team the University of Georgia, attempted to take a bite out of his behind! Luckily for Baker, he was able to dodge out of the way.

In rugby, England hooker Dylan Hartley bit Ireland’s Stephen Ferris, for which he received an eight-week ban. Later, Hartley got a taste of his own medicine when Pedrie Wannenburg chomped down on his wrist! Wannenburg, however, received no ban.

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