Sporting Justice, by Ian Hewitt

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The Independent Culture

In an ideal world, all sport would be self-policing; sadly, the reality is very different, as this 370-page compilation of action which ended up in court indicates.

Ian Hewitt, both a lawyer and a sports fan, has selected awell-judged blend of cases running the gamut from the famous to the obscure, adding his own pithy opinions about the outcome. The former category ranges from baseball's 1919 World Series betting scandal to the recent McLaren "Spygate" saga and jockey Kieren Fallon's fall from grace, but the less well-known tales possibly hold more fascination: the 1994 Caribbean Cup football match between Barbados and Grenada, which owing to the competition's Byzantine rules culminated in Barbados scoring a deliberate own goal and the Grenadan team then trying to score at both ends, has to be read to be believed.

Sadly, as Hewitt points out, the majority of his cases arise from events that took place in the past 25 years; these days, friends met at the bar are too often of the m'learned variety when it comes to sport.

Published by SportsBooks in hardback, £17.99