Premier League - Heavyweight McCarthy fined £80k
Eurosport - Tue, 14 Sep 12:40:00 2010
West Ham striker Benni McCarthy was fined £80,000 after turning up to pre-season training almost two stone overweight.
Hammers boss Avram Grant was stunned when the South African striker turned up for pre-season training with a body fat percentage of 24.2 - more than double that of the average professional footballer.
The 32-year-old was immediately set a series of weight loss targets to get himself back in shape, but struggled to keep up with the schedule and thus incurred the fine - equivalent to two weeks' wages, the Daily Mail reported.
The striker finally shed the excess weight thanks to a visit to a specialist clinic in Austria, and having lost 18lb he is now back in Avram Grant's plans for the season.
"I was surprised he was like this," Grant said. "He was brought here to perform and then there was the World Cup in his country.
"I can tell you he's a very nice guy. I don't know why he was like this.
"But he's lost eight kilos and is a very good player and I'm sure he will help us - and that's what's important."
McCarthy has made just seven appearances for the Hammers since joining from Blackburn for £2.5 million in January, but Grant is confident he can contribute to the East London side.
"If I look at the past about many things I will be like many people here at the club who always say 'last year was not this, not that'... I say to everybody 'I don't care what happened. I'm looking forward' - and so is Benni McCarthy."