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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 14:11 GMT 15:11 UK
Cyril in assault claim
Cyril the Swan is facing a police probe over an alleged assault at the Mascot Grand National.

The giant Swansea City mascot is said to have pushed over a woman dressed as a dog before the event at Huntingdon racecourse got under way.

A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire police said: "A complaint has been about an alleged assault on Mascot Day which we are looking into.

"Cyril the Swan's name has been mentioned but the inquiry is still in its very early stages and no-one has been arrested."

We've renamed the Mascot Grand National Deathrace 2001
Huntingdon Racecourse boss Jim Allen
The 46-year-old woman is said to have injured her wrist after being knocked over in the parade ring, although she managed to complete Sunday's race.

A spokesman for Swansea City insisted Cyril was innocent.

"We can't believe anything would have happened," he told BBC Sport Online.


"Cyril wouldn't deliberately set out to hurt someone. He's got his faults, but that's not one of them.

"We're sure, in the end, that Cyril will be exonerated."

It is not the first time the nine foot bird has been involved in controversy.

Earlier this year he kicked the head of Millwall mascot Zampa the Lion into the crowd, and in 1999 he was fined 1,000 for grabbing a referee on the pitch.

The Mascot Grand National was described by racecourse chief Jim Allen as "the roughest ever".

Wendy the Wolf of Wolves had to be stretchered off, while Watford's Harry the Hornet suffered two cracked ribs.

"We've renamed it Deathrace 2001," joked Allen.

To make matters worse, the winner of the race, Freddie the Fox, was exposed as Olympic hurdler Matthew Douglas and disqualified.

The title was eventually awarded to Dazzler the Lion of Rushden & Diamonds.

See also:

01 Oct 01 |  Funny Old Game
Freddie fix rocks mascot race
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