Top Scandals 2011

December 30, 2011 by staff 

Top Scandals 2011, There couldn’t have been a bigger shame than the spot-fixing scandal in cricket. And, there couldn’t have been a more sincere exercise to assert one’s self-righteousness in doping than the battle between the World Anti-Doping Agency and the British Olympic Association.

That both surfaced in England is only incidental. The first involved Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt – who was skipper of team touring England in the tour last year – and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer although initially, the scandal seemed like consuming virtually the entire team.

Players’ agent Mazhar Majeed played into the hands of undercover reporters from News of The World tabloid, where he famously said that he could get two Pakistani bowlers to deliver no-balls at stipulated points during the fourth England-Pakistan Test.

The verdict that came this year was even more stunning: Majeed was imprisoned for two years and eight months, Butt for 30 months, Asif for 12 months and Aamer for six months. That justice came as a jackhammer blow to Pakistan was dwelt upon as extensively as the truth that cricket will never be able to live down its image of a game constantly under the gaze of match-fixers.

The other controversy was in fact Britain’s attempt to tell the world that drug cheats do not have any place in its firmament. It all began with a verdict from Court of Arbitration for Sport that overturned International Olympic Committee’s Rule 45 which said that drug cheats who have been banned for six months or more could not participate in the following Olympics.

The CAS ruling saw many athletes, including 400m Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, who had appealed against the IOC diktat, get a chance to figure at the London Olympics. They included sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar but the two Britons had a knotty 19-year-old BOA bylaw to vault over as according to it, all drug cheats were banned for life from the Olympics.

WADA ruled that BOA was non-compliant with its code, thanks to the contentious bylaw, forcing BOA to appeal to CAS. A decision in April next year will determine whether Chambers and Millar can participate in London 2012.

Talking of drugs, six women athletes who formed the cream of India’s gold-medal winning squad at the Commonwealth Games last year, were sensationally caught for steroid abuse earlier this year. They were handed one year bans under the exceptional circumstances rule of WADA.

All of them – AC Ashwini, Sini Jose, Mandeep Kaur, Juana Murmu, Priyanka Panwar and Tiana Mary Thomas – stand very little chance of making it to London 2012, thanks to the timing of the ban.

The athletes maintain that contaminated supplements supplied by their coach did them in. Appeals and more drama are bound to follow in the coming weeks. India, incidentally, was home to more controversies.

The draft sports bill came in two avatars, the second one even trying to appease the cricket board on the RTI front. It may hit a roadblock during the January cabinet meeting but sports minister Ajay Maken is confident his effort will pass muster this time.

Even as hockey’s battles off the pitch continued , with India even losing the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy, in the US, the NBA season was cut to 66 games per team from the normal 82 after a lockout nipped action for nearly two months. A new agreement was signed after hectic parleys between the owners of 30 NBA teams and players and the season began on December 25.

Player defiance reached a new high in Champions League when Argentina’s Carlos Tevez refused to come off the bench for Manchester City in the match against Bayern Munich. First came the suspension, then a hefty fine which was subsequently reduced. Tevez, meanwhile, finds himself in a limbo.

This more or less explains Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt’s mood during the 100m final at the Daegu World Championships. The false start did him in, giving Yohan Blake the glory. But then, in a year when sport had its own share of dramatic false starts, small wonder the planet’s greatest athlete had to personify it in his own way.

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