The sport of pigeon-racing has been rocked to its core after six birds were found to have been doped with a sickening cocktail of drugs.
The racing pigeons in Belgium were found to have been doped with drugs such as cocaine and painkillers, according to reports in the country's newspapers.
It was revealed after the Belgian pigeon-racing federation sent samples from 20 birds to the National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa.
The sport - which is highly lucrative - revolves around specially bred and trained pigeons being released from a specific location and racing back to their home loft.
Famously, a Belgian racing pigeon called Bolt - named after Olympic gold-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt - was sold to a Chinese businessman for a world record price of £260,000.
The doping of the birds was reportedly discovered in South Africa after initial tests in Belgium failed to identify any wrongdoing.
Thefts from successful breeders and racketeering are among the problems associated with the sport, which attracts much glamour and riches in certain parts of the world.
Authorities in the sport will no doubt be spitting feathers at this latest controversy.
- Sports & Recreation
- National Horseracing Authority