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The year in review: Top five sporting scandals in 2015

Every year, there are scandals and controversies which threaten to disrupt the international sports scene and this year was no different.

year ender 2015 Updated: Dec 26, 2015 18:11 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times
Top Sports Stories of 2015,Sepp Blatter,Russian Doping Scandal
A file photo showing FIFA President Sepp Blatter listening to UEFA President Michel Platini during the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich.(AFP Photo)

Every year, there are scandals and controversies which threaten to disrupt the international sports scene and this year was no different.

The biggest one among them was the ban imposed by Fifa on its former president Sepp Blatter and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) chief and former French player Michel Platini on corruption charges.

Here’s a look at the top five sporting scandals which made news in 2015:

Fifa corruption scandal

This was undoubtedly the biggest sporting scandal of the year as seven Fifa officials were arrested from the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich, Switzerland in May on allegations related to bribery and money embezzling. A total of 14 high-ranked officials of the organisation were indicted in connection to a US investigation. And in December, the Fifa Ethics Committee banned former president Sepp Blatter and Uefa chief Michel Platini for eight years after they were found guilty of “abusive execution” of their positions.

Russia doping scandal

An independent commission set up by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced in November this year that a huge number of Russian track and field athletes were found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs and their act was covered-up by coaches, doctors and sports authorities. The shocking revelation resulted in a blanket ban on the Russian athletes from competing in any international event and also forced the entire top-tier of the premier Russian anti-doping agency to resign.

IPL spot-fixing controversy

The Lodha committee, which was appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate the spot-fixing allegations during the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League, found Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals guilty of wrong-doing and decided to suspend both of them for two years. The controversy was a huge blow to the tournament’s reputation and as a result, many of their sponsors opted out of the 2016 IPL season.

Suspension of Indian weightlifters

April 5 was a dark day in the history of Indian sports as 21 weightlifters were suspended by the Indian Weightlifting Federation after they were tested positive for banned substances. It was one of the biggest doping scandals to have ever hit the Indian sporting fraternity and it damaged the reputation of the IWF on the global scene.

Qatar World Cup controversy

The controversies surrounding the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar range from bribing allegations during the selection of the host country to human rights violations in the preparation of the spectacle. Human rights groups from all around the world have been protesting against the alleged mistreatment of workers who were employed in the construction of stadiums in Qatar. And with the recent suspension of Fifa’s Blatter on bribery charges, this can turn into a huge controversy in the near future.

First Published: Dec 24, 2015 18:10 IST