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Cock-fighting fans in eastern India are facing a police crackdown on the cruel sport after a doping scandal over roosters taking part in the bouts.

Tests on losing bird's bodies have revealed that they've been built up with steroids for the matches, which are regularly watched by crowds of more than 10,000 in Purulia, West Bengal.

Winning birds' owners can walk off with 1,500 GBP prizes and police say tens of thousands of pounds are gambled on the results.

"This is no sport - they are cruel, fixed fights with birds so pumped up with drugs they would fight a tiger if they were put into the ring with one," said a police spokesman.

West Bengal is due to host one of the largest cock fighting tournaments next month, where birds fight each other with razor sharp blades attached to their claws.

But police have vowed to monitor the bouts for excessive cruelty and illicit gambling.

"These fights are a source of large scale crime - gambling, cruelty, illegal drug sales. We will be watching very closely," said the spokesman.

But event organiser Sushil Kumar Mondi claimed: "It is just a game, a bit of fun."

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