Last week the rugby world was highly amused when Cardiff Blues' back Jason Tovey was unable to report for business in the Heineken Cup. The Welshman could not travel with his region to Toulon after his pet labrador, Buster, chewed his passport into such a state border officials would not permit him to enter France.
Tovey soon became the butt of jokes in the UK national media as paper after paper picked up the story and ran with it. Its obvious parallel to the old schoolboy excuse of the dog eating the schoolchild's homework making it a clear choice as quirky story of the day.
Similarly, Twitter was awash with jokes from fellow professionals, commentators and fans mocking Tovey for spinning a variation on the 'oldest excuse in the book'. However, deeper investigations by this column have revealed that the story has a far, far sinister overtone than at first glance.
It seems far from being an innocent, yet loveable, canine is the mastermind behind an international series of rugby scandals and mishaps that include match fixing, forced player transfers, food poisoning, on pitch violence, interference in disciplinary committees, IRB vote rigging, changes to the game's laws and referee intimidation.
The eating of Tovey's passport, for instance, appears to have been a 'warning' to the outside half for the owner's failure to spend enough time rubbing the dog's belly each day after training.
However, as of yet no clear motive has been established for Buster's other alleged mischievous and sinister deeds. But significant amounts of circumstantial evidence exists which seems to confirm to any logical person that Buster is indeed the guilty party. Several sources have made accusations against Buster but have always refused to go public with their claims, fearful of repercussions from sharp teeth.
"If Buster can arrange for the entire New Zealand rugby squad and management to suffer food poisoning before their loss to England last year," said one source who wished to cling to anonymity. "What do you think he'd do to me, a two-bit club player in Scotland? I'd be chewed up and spat out before the ink was dry on the charges."For the full story: CLICK HERE.