Tyson Fury has revealed he has asked his lawyers to help remove him from the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.
The world heavyweight champion said he asked “politely” when he posted an Instagram message earlier this month.
But he has now taken further steps to be removed from the list of contenders and instructed his lawyers to send a letter to the BBC.
He told Good Morning Britain: “I have asked nicely in a video to be taken off the list and they decided that they were not going to take me off the list.
“So I have had my lawyers send them a letter demanding that I am taken off the list and let’s hope they listen and take me off the list.”
Responding to his first request, the BBC insisted it had no intention of removing Fury, and said the programme will continue to celebrate his achievements irrespective of his desire to participate.
A spokesperson said: “The shortlist is decided by an independent expert panel who choose contenders based on their sporting achievement in a given year.
“On this basis Tyson Fury will remain on the list for SPOTY 2020. As always the winner will be decided by the public voting during the live show and it is of course up to Tyson if he chooses to participate in the show.”
Fury’s previous appearance on the shortlist in 2015 caused controversy, with more than 100,000 people signing a petition calling for the boxer’s removal over a series of outspoken comments on homophobia and abortion.
But in 2018 Fury’s omission from the final list, following his draw against Deontay Wilder, drew criticism from the boxer’s camp, including his then trainer Ben Davison, who called the decision a “shame”.