Commonwealth Games - Aussie star sent home for headbutting Welshman

Australian weightlifter Francois Etoundi has been sent home from the Commonwealth Games in disgrace after headbutting a fellow competitor in a late-night fracas at the athletes' village.

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Commonwealth Games - Aussie star sent home for headbutting Welshman
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Australian weightlifter Francois Etoundi

Etoundi, who won a bronze medal in the 77kg category on Sunday, admitted nutting Welsh rival Gareth Evans at around 5am - and Glasgow Sheriff's court has ordered him to pay Evans £400 compensation.

When the news first emerged that the 29-year-old Etoundi had attacked the Welshman, there seemed no obvious motive - and indeed the Crown prosecutor told the court that it was a "totally unprovoked" attack that left Evans, 28, with a broken nose.

But the Cameroon-born weightlifter's lawyer explained that the incident had been fuelled by an argument earlier in the evening centred around Evans's girlfriend, who apparently gave Etoundi a congratulatory hug as he celebrated his medal success with what he described as "a few drinks".

He went into the mess hall within the restaurant and through there was being congratulated by many people, including a female who physically took hold of him,” said Etoundi's lawyer David Hunter said.

“That appears to be Mr Evans’ girlfriend, and he was angry about the physical contact. There was an argument, and the incident followed.”

Etoundi was arrested just a few minutes later and went calmly with police, telling them, "Yeah, yeah, I understand, I'm cool man."

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Gareth Evans of Wales

The presiding Sheriff, John Cubie, accepted both Etoundi's explanation and his feelings of remorse.

"You have chosen to bring the laws of the playground to the Commonwealth Games. You fell out with someone over a girl and you headbutted him,” Mr Cubie said.

"If you are not ashamed, you should be. These are matters you have brought upon yourself."

Etoundi had planned to remain in Scotland for the closing ceremony this weekend, but Australia kicked him off the team immediately and are sending him home "as soon as possible". He will face further disciplinary action from the Australian Weightlifting Federation on his return.

"I am disappointed when any athlete doesn’t abide by our rules and goes off the rails a bit,” said Australia's Commonwealth Games chief Perry Crosswhite.

“It’s absolutely wrong. You don’t do that. That’s part of our code of conduct. Your behaviour towards other people has to be exemplary."

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