12 scandals that rocked the sports world in 2015
It's been a crazy year.
Doping, blackmail, cheating and just general injustice, 2015 had it all. So without further ado, here are 12 of of the biggest sporting scandals that grabbed the headlines this year, in no particular order.
Remember the Fifa presidential elections? If you don't, it's probably because they were completely overshadowed by the arrest of seven FIFA officials in a raid at the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich, with allegations related to bribery. A total of 14 people were indicted in connection to an FBI investigation.
Blatter was re-elected by the way, although he eventually announced his resignation.
2. Jon Jones' hit-and-run
Arguably the greatest fighter ever to grace an Octagon tested positive for cocaine metabolites this year, but it was his involvement in a hit-and-run in which a pregnant woman broke her arm that was his low point of 2015. Jones fled the scene on foot, before returning to collect some cash from his rented vehicle before fleeing the scene again.
He was subsequently stripped of his title, indefinitely banned from the sport and fined, although he managed to avoid jail time and his suspension was eventually lifted by the UFC.
3. ITV Rugby World Cup Fiji commentary
ITV's Nick Mullins came under fire for his commentary during the World Cup opener between Fiji and England. The commentator was heard saying: "In the smaller villages, they will all be gathering around the one TV, the one satellite dish, hoping the generator doesn’t let them down."
It turns out that the comment was actually a reference to a quote from Fiji boss, John McKee, but this discovery was made long after the backlash.
4. European Equestrian Championships debacle
Cian O'Connor went on to make four faults at the showjumping event in Aachen after an arena worker ran out in front of his horse "Good Luck" halfway through the run. Ireland finished just outside Olympic qualification, missing out by just .4 of a penalty and are awaiting to see if their appeal is successful.
5. Tyson Fury comments on homosexuality
The heavyweight champion of the world may be trying to defend his interview with The Daily Mail for the rest of his career.
"There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home: one of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other one’s paedophilia. Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalised?"
Two-time MVP Tom Brady was suspended by the NFL without pay while the New England Patriots were stripped of both their 2016 first round draft pick and the 2017 fourth round draft pick for deflating footballs in a key AFC playoff contest against the Indianapolis Colts.
7. Josh Neer internet troll beatdown goes viral
The ex-UFC fighter taught keyboard warriors around the world a valuable lesson with his savage beatdown of Patrick Martin, who inexplicably wanted a rematch.
8. Valbuena sextape blackmail plot
France's Euro 2016 preparations took a massive blow after the huge debacle regarding Mathieu Valbuena allegedly being blackmailed over his sextape. Fellow international Karim Benzema has been suspended by the French national team until his court case over the alleged blackmail plot has been resolved.
9. Fenway classic brawl
A day after the Fighting Irish recorded a win at the stadium, the Irish were fighting yet again. An unforgettable brawl broke out during the 11-aside hurling match between Dublin and Galway which for a lot of Americans tuning in, was their first taste of the sport.
Fortunately, most of them actually enjoyed the violence, while most of the backlash came from the homeland who argued it was a poor representation of our national game.
10. England kitman sacking
Following their dismal showing at the World Cup, it was reported that England gave their kitman of over 13 years the boot for giving players advice in the stock market.
The 55-year-old former marine reportedly advised players such as Sam Burgess and Danny Care, who ended up losing upwards of £100,000 when Tennison's tip, oil drilling firm LGO Energy, saw shares fall by £3.27 to just 45p.
11. Nick Diaz's career-ending ban
After testing positive tested positive for marijuana metabolites in his post-fight drug test following his loss to Anderson Silva in January, Nick Diaz was handed a five-year ban by the NSAC. Under the ban, the 32-year-old would have been unable to compete until he's 36, meaning his fighting career could have been over.
Diaz was also fined 33% of his $500,000 fight purse for the main event at UFC 183 which amounts to $166,667.
The last we heard was that Diaz was in settlement talks with the NSAC over reducing the ban, coming after the punishment was met with heavy criticism from the MMA community and, well, Cher.
Lift the NSAC ban from MMA fighter Nick Diaz. http://t.co/E5h1HYkKVu
— Cher (@cher) October 5, 2015
12. Russian doping crisis
Who could forget the findings of the independent commission set up by (WADA) which confirmed a "deeply rooted culture of cheating" by Russian track and field athletes? The 323 page report detailed how doping was covered-up by coaches, doctors, state and sports officials.
Among the athletes revealed as dopers in the report was Sergey Kirdyapkin, who won gold in the men’s 50km walk at London 2012, where Rob Heffernan finished fourth.