After the Suarez biting scandal, which other sports stars have "gone Dracula" on their opponents?

A tour of the sports world’s most astonishing biting incidents

The opportunity to play for your country at a football World Cup is a dream which millions of children harbour and only a tiny fraction ever achieve.

So it beggars belief that Luis Suarez, a fully grown adult man, and a celebrated Uruguayan striker, should throw this opportunity away through behaviour that wouldn’t be out of place (but would still be out of order) in a nursery play-pen.

During Uruguay’s game with Italy on Tuesday the striker apparently bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder.

Suarez then fell onto the ground holding his teeth, while Chiellini pulled his shirt down to reveal bite marks on his shoulder.

If Suarez did sink his teeth into the Italian, then, unbelievably, this will be the third time he has bitten an opposition player on the pitch. In November 2010 he was handed a seven match ban for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder while playing for Ajax, then just last year, he received a 10-match ban for doing it again, this time to Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

His reputation is therefore going to be absolutely no help in getting him out of trouble. An investigation has been launched by Fifa, and if Suarez is found to have indeed bitten Chiellini, he is likely to be given a ban that will rule him out of any further matches in this World Cup.

But which other famous sporting stars have thrown their toys out of the pram and bitten their opponents?

King of biters is obviously heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson. Not content with battering his opponents with his fists, Tyson famously got his gnashers round Evander Holyfield’s ear.

Mike Tyson boxing biting

Other bitey footballers include Tottenham’s Jermaine Defoe, who got upset after being tackled by West Ham’s Javier Mascherano in 2006. After falling to the ground, Defoe turns round and gives his opponent a naughty nip on the upper arm. Defoe said a ban would be “out of all proportion”, and the FA didn’t give him one.

But none of these incidents are quite as remarkable as those of Australian rugby league player Anthony Watts. Last year, Watts was handed an eight game ban for biting an opponent on the penis during a game. At the time, Watts said: “I was wearing a mouthguard and there’s no way I bit him on the d*ck. The claim is laughable.”

Anthony Watts

Anthony Watts. Image: Sydney Morning Herald

And let us not forget the Dracula-esque dramatics of what became known as “bloodgate”. During the 2009 Heineken Cup, Rugby league player Tom Williams, who played for Harlequins, came off the field bleeding profusely from the mouth. But it turned out to be a staged injury.

Tom Williams Bloodgate

Williams had hidden a blood capsule in his mouth and bit it at an opportune moment, allowing the club to make a tactical substitution. In the wake of the ensuing scandal, it was revealed that the club had used the tactic on three other occasions. Bloody silly.

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