Martin Castrogiovanni.... and other fabulous excuses from the world of rugby!

For those that have not seen the bizarre news of this week, here’s a quick recap. Martin Castrogiovanni was pictured partying away in Las Vegas with PSG footballers, despite telling his Racing 92 coaches he couldn’t play in their Champions Cup semi-final against Leicester due to a ‘family matter’ which required him to fly to Argentina. 1843757-38872371-2560-1440Castrogiovanni partying in Vegas (he's the big prop shaped one in the middle, looking like Alan from The Hangover). The legendary Italian prop has been suspended by the Paris club and we are yet to find out just how long that could last, considering he isn’t getting any younger and is in the last few months of his contract. Could it be that the long-haired, bearded lump didn’t want to play against his former club? Or was the temptation of spending a weekend in the home of entertainment and gambling too good to refuse? Only time will tell. It’s not the first time an athlete has lied or made excuses to get them out of a rut, and we doubt it’ll be the last. So let’s look back at some of the more embarrassing ways sports men and women have been caught red-handed. Staying in the same sport, one of the best stories comes out of France, back in 2009. Bruising centre, Mathieu Bastareaud, and his teammates had been on tour in the Southern Hemisphere, taking on the Wallabies and the All Blacks. Bastareaud however, would have his travels cut short, after sustaining facial injuries after a night out in Wellington, which he said were due to ‘four of five’ men assaulting him. The story received worldwide attention, much to the dismay of Bastareaud, who had actually just tripped over in his hotel room after having too much to drink. Investigations were launched and sympathy was thrown the Frenchman’s way, including an official apology from the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, before he confessed the truth. The former Stade Francais man had admitted he told porkies because he was worried the France management might sack him for his foolishness. Oh, Mathieu, you only made it worse. Over to America we go, with one of the most cringeworthy tales that you might hear. American Football defensive star, Manti Te’o thought he had hit gold when he met the girl of his dreams online. The pair soon became an item, and Te’o was none-the-wiser that the ‘woman’ he was speaking too online, didn’t even exist. After months of online dating, the Notre Dame player was informed that his girlfriend had died of leukemia. It wasn’t long, however, before Te’o learned that he had been at the centre of one of the most high-profile cases of ‘cat-fishing’ ever! Even after discovering that it was all a hoax, the linebacker continued to lie, even claiming he was dedicating his next performance in memory of his recently ‘deceased’ girlfriend. You’ve got to feel sorry for him. Talking of hoax’s, the story of Ali Dia, has become a cult classic. Senegalese born Dia had one of his college mates to call Southampton F.C, and pretend to be legendary African footballer, George Weah. The phone call resulted in Dia being given a trial for the Saints, despite the club never actually seeing him in action, let alone in person. Amazingly, the trick worked, and he made one appearance for the side, coming on as a substitute in the 32nd minute, before being replaced in the 85th. Dia was released 14 days in to his contract. You can’t make that kind of stuff up! Last, but certainly not least, we journey to the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. An event where, for the first time, intellectual disability was included, meaning competitors who had an IQ of 70 or less, were allowed to participate. The Spanish basketball team stormed to victory, and claimed the gold. It was later discovered that 10 of the 12 players did not have an intellectual disability, resulting in one of the most morally shocking stories in the history of sport. Needless to say, the Spanish were stripped of their gold medals, and the 10 players probably went in to hiding for a while. Do you have another account of blatant lying, cheating or simply just a terrible excuse in mind? Perhaps the infamous drug use of cycling legend Lance Armstrong, or David Haye's ‘broken pinky-toe’ being the reason for his defeat in his boxing bout against Wladimir Klitschko. Let us know in the comments below!

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