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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: A short history of urine in sport

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England's Kevin Pietersen may have got a little carried away with his celebrations after an Ashes win, but who wouldn't? Photo / AP
England's Kevin Pietersen may have got a little carried away with his celebrations after an Ashes win, but who wouldn't? Photo / AP

Urine and sport. The topic flooded our screens - and the Oval - after England cricketers celebrated their Ashes series win over Australia by reportedly urinating on the pitch.

All sorts of horrified reactions have followed, including some sanctimonious nonsense from the Sultan of S(p)in, Shane Warne.

It wasn't classy for the Poms to leak near the square but their crime came four hours after stumps were drawn and if they'd tried to make it back to the dressing rooms they probably would have watered the outfield anyway.

Keven Pietersen, James Anderson and Stuart Broad spent their five new pence near a good length, like Dean Jones, who had a similar but involuntary discharge in India in 1986, and our own John Wright who could not wait until lunch in one test.

Cricketers get off the field every two hours or call the 12th man on while they slope off for some other business, unlike those who participate in long distance ironman events.

Paula Radcliffe pulled over to the kerb for a rapid 'pitstop' before she won the 2007 London Marathon and the great Greta Waitz lifted the back of her running shorts during a New York marathon triumph to ease her distress.

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go, unlike Monty Panesar who loosened his load over nightclub bouncers recently in Brighton.

Jerry Collins knelt and delivered before an All Black test in 2006, Russell Packer was not quite so discreet and copped a serious fine while Fabien Barthez just let it all hang out during a European soccer match.

American swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte admit they regularly challenged the chlorine in their hours churning up and down the pool, while snooker players and golfers have regular pit stops in their arenas.

Celebrated cycling stories include cooling the lycra or group protection when it was time to go during long stages. One male rider was congratulated on 'his' pregnancy after giving a sample before officials made competitors roll down their shorts and lift their tops to make sure they were completing their task.

One German athlete gave up the sport because of embarrassment about the procedure.
In Crossfit, talk often involves questions about exercise induced urine leakage and one champion Miranda Oldroyd revealed she often peed as did many others when asked to do "double unders".

Chicago Cubs outfielder Moises Alou urinated on his hands to toughen them up, so too Yankee pitcher Jorge Posada who warned "don't shake my hand during spring training".

Madonna staggered David Letterman on his show when she spoke glowingly about how urine cured athlete's foot while Brazilian karate master Lyoto Machida topped that with his advocacy of daily drinks to cleanse his body.

John Lennon, Jim Morrison and Steve McQueen were also fans but pulled up a bit short in life while Nascar drivers wear fire-resistant diapers to absorb several quarts of urine as they hydrate themselves during their long-distance work.

No kidding, this is not a piss take.

- NZ Herald

Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

NZ Herald senior rugby writer Wynne Gray has been covering the All Blacks for almost 25 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

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