Cheating scandal hits Irish dancing as Riverdance legend makes Sopranos claim

A cheating scandal has rocked Irish dancing amid claims crooked judges have been acting like characters from The Godfather.

The global body governing it has been hit by allegations of competition fixing and cheating in return for sexual favours.

Teachers and parents claim the industry is run like the mafia, with one former Riverdance star comparing it to mob show The Sopranos.

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One US-based teacher claimed she was scared to ask judges for a favour, saying: “Because once you do, you’re indebted to them for life. It’s like The Godfather.”

The scandal, the largest governing body the CLRG has ever faced, has seen highly-successful dance teachers and schools accused of fixing competitions for their own students.

One teacher and a judge reportedly appeared to be exchanging sexual favours for higher scores.

The CLRG said: “The process will no doubt be difficult and arduous, but this grossly unethical behaviour must be eliminated from our competitions, dance schools and governing organisations.”

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A former appeal court judge has been appointed to oversee a probe into the claims.

Anyone found to have cheated will be “subject to due and full process”, the CLRG added.

One competition, the All Scotland Championships, started in Glasgow yesterday.

There is no suggestion this competition has been involving in cheating.

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