Players set more than just their arrows flying at the Grand Slam of Darts this week, with opponents rowing over who had emitted noxious smells during their match, media reported on Saturday.
Twice world champion Scotsman Gary Anderson, 47, won Friday’s match 10-2 to reach the quarter-finals but his Dutch opponent Wesley Harms, 34, said he was affected by the “fragrant smell” Anderson had left as they played.
“It’ll take me two nights to lose this smell from my nose,” Harms told Dutch television station RTL7L.
However, world number 4 Anderson said the smell had come “from the table side” at the Aldersley Leisure Village venue, in the English Midlands town of Wolverhampton, suggesting it was from the crowd.
“If the boy thinks I’ve farted he’s 1,010 percent wrong. I had a bad stomach once on stage before and admitted it. So I’m not going to lie about farting on stage,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“Every time I walked past there was a waft of rotten eggs so that’s why I was thinking it was him. It was bad. It was a stink, then he started to play better and I thought he must have needed to get some wind out.
“If somebody has done that they need to see a doctor. Seemingly he says it was me but I would admit it.”
In the Grand Slam of Darts, Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) players face competitors from the rival British Darts Organisation (BDO).
PDC chairman Barry Hearn, who has helped transform a sport which now attracts sell-out crowds, told the BBC the controversy was “unique” in his experience of professional darts.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever heard of such a contentious – almost contagious – incident,” he said.
“Something doesn’t smell right. There is nothing worse than a silent fart. This could run and run.”
“On a slightly more serious note, this is a top-level competition involving highly skilled sportsmen – so we have no intention of renaming the event the ‘Grand Slam of Farts’ as some have suggested,” added Hearn.
Anderson faces German Michael Unterbuchner in the last eight.