Who would have guessed this week’s biggest sporting controversy came from the wonderful world of fishing?
On Friday, Chase Cominsky of Hermitage and Jake Runyan of Cleveland were accused of cheating during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail (LEWT) Championship event in Ohio — and the video evidence is damning.
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After being declared the apparent victors, a tournament official cut open one of their walleye to find weights and extra fillets inside the animal’s body.
Inevitably, the discovering prompted outrage among the sporting community, with footage of the incident has registered more than 4.4 million views on Twitter in less than eight hours.
In the two-minute clip, dozens of furious fishing enthusiasts bombard Runyan with abuse as more weights are discovered in several other walleye.
“Get the f*** out of here!”
“Call the cops.”
“That is f***ing theft, motherf***er.”
“You should be in jail.”
“How many f***ing tournament have you done this in?”
“Don’t we need to file a police report.”
“Where’s your crown now?”
“I mean we all f***ing knew it.”
“You got anything to say?”
“You took all that f***ing money.”
“You’re f***ing scum. You f***ing piece of s***!”
“What were you thinking?”
“You f***ed over a lot of people man.”
“They’re been doing this s*** for years, cheating motherf***ers man. Piece of f***ing s***. You got a f***ing boat, you’ve got thousands of f***ing dollars. You stole from everyone.”
Ahead of the season-culminating championship event, Cominsky and Runyon were leading the season standings for team of the year.
They won several high-paying LEWT events in 2021, with internet sleuths unearthing images of the pair holding large cheques.
Those accolades are now understandably being questioned, with calls for Cominsky and Runyon to return the prizemoney.
“Disgusted guys and gals, I’m sorry for letting you down for so long and I’m glad I caught cheating taking place in YOUR LEWT at the same time,” Lake Erie Walleye Trail director Jason Fischeron posted to Facebook.
“I hope you know now that when I say, ‘You built this LEWT and I will defend its integrity at all costs,’ I mean it. You all deserve the best.”
Last year, they were disqualified from the Lake Erie Fall Brawl fishing event after one of them failed a lie-detector test, according to the Toledo Blade.