Friday, December 9, 2022

Hamilton and Verstappen’s contentious F1 finale – where does it rank in sport’s great controversies?

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Sporting historical past is affected by controversy and the newest excessive-profile dispute got here in Abu Dhabi on Sunday when Max Verstappen edged Lewis Hamilton to be topped Formula One world champion.

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Hamilton – the Mercedes driver – seemed to be charging to a file eighth world title, simply holding Verstappen at bay just for a crash for the Williams of Nicholas Latifi to alter the course of occasions in the closing laps.

Confusion reigned as underneath-fireplace race director Michael Masi modified his thoughts to permit lapped automobiles to cross the security automotive – that means Verstappen had a transparent run at Hamilton in the ultimate lap and, on a lot quicker contemporary tyres, made his transfer to say a primary F1 title.

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Max Verstappen controversially beat Lewis Hamilton to be topped F1 world champion

Verstappen had a clear run at Hamilton in the final lap and managed to overtake his rival

Verstappen had a transparent run at Hamilton in the ultimate lap and managed to overhaul his rival

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Mercedes instantly launched two appeals towards the outcome, one towards Verstappen for allegedly overtaking underneath a security automotive and a second claiming a breach of guidelines relating to race restarts following a security automotive interval. 

Both had been dismissed after the 2 groups spent hours in the stewards’ workplace, Verstappen capable of toast his title over 4 hours after crossing the end line – albeit with Mercedes lodging an intention to enchantment the decision.

But how do the occasions in Abu Dhabi examine to a few of sport’s most controversial occasions? Sportsmail has picked out a lot of excessive-profile incidents that may match the Formula One for drama…

The Hand of God

There is not any higher place to start out than Diego Maradona scoring most likely essentially the most controversial aim in the historical past of soccer.

England performed Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico simply 4 years after The Falklands War with tensions nonetheless working excessive.

Three minutes after scoring the opening aim – among the best items of magic to be seen on a soccer pitch – Maradona wrote himself into soccer historical past with a second of insanity.  

Maradona, who died final yr, jumped as much as problem England goalkeeper Peter Shilton for the ball however, somewhat than head it in direction of aim, the Argentine punched it into the again of the online.

It was such a blatant handball that Maradona’s group-mates initially did not actually rejoice with him. 

But, with VAR nonetheless round 35 years away, he managed to get away with it and dump England out of the event.

Diego Maradona scored with his hand to knock England out of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico

Diego Maradona scored along with his hand to knock England out of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico

Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (R) hired somebody to attack Nancy Kerrigan in a bid to remove her from the Olympic picture

Tonya Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (R) employed any person to assault Nancy Kerrigan in a bid to take away her from the Olympic image

Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan

Controversy would not instantly come to thoughts once you consider determine skating however the rivalry between two of America’s most proficient skaters turned ugly in 1994. 

Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan had been on the peak of their powers and fierce rivals to win the US National Championships and Olympic gold that yr.

Kerrigan was the higher of the 2 and had a powerful likelihood of successful gold at Lillehammer 1994 – that was till she was attacked by a person on the eve of the nationwide championships in Detroit who was attempting to shatter her knee and power her out of the game.

Harding went on to win the US title whereas Kerrigan sat out injured however each had been chosen to compete on the Olympics later that yr. Harding – the topic of a 2017 movie starring Margot Robbie – got here eighth in Lillehammer whereas Kerrigan recovered to say the silver medal.

It later emerged that Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and his buddy Shawn Eckdardt employed any person to assault Kerrigan in a bid to take away her from the Olympic image. 

Gillooly was sentenced to 2 years in jail whereas Harding was stripped of her gold from the 1994 US Championships and was banned from competing in the US for all times.

Harding and Kerrigan were at the peak of their powers and fierce rivals at the 1994 Olympics

Kerrigan recovered from the attack to win Olympic silver in Lillehammer

Harding and Kerrigan had been on the peak of their powers and fierce rivals on the 1994 Olympics


Blood is usually spilled in a sport as brutal as rugby however Harlequins winger Tom Williams purposely bit right into a pretend blood capsule so he might be withdrawn late in the sport.

It was the defining moments of the 2009 Heineken Cup quarter-last towards Leinster and Quins’ ordinary fly-half, Nick Evans, had earlier been substituted due to a thigh harm.

His alternative – Chris Malone – additionally tore his hamstring 20 minutes later and had to get replaced by Williams with Mike Brown taking on the kicking duties.

However, guidelines said Evans may solely return to the sport as a ‘blood alternative’ so Williams bit into the capsule to make it look as if he had been minimize with simply eight minutes remaining.

Harlequins' Tom Williams bit into a fake blood capsule so he could be replaced against Leinster

Harlequins’ Tom Williams bit right into a pretend blood capsule so he might be changed towards Leinster

Nick Evans came back on after being withdrawn but missed a decisive drop kick as his side lost

Nick Evans got here again on after being withdrawn however missed a decisive drop kick as his aspect misplaced

On ran Evans for the decisive last couple of minutes and it seemed just like the plan had labored when he had a drop aim try in the final minute to win the sport. He missed, nevertheless, as Leinster ran out 6-5 winners.  

Investigations later proved Harlequins had pulled off the trick 4 instances earlier than the Leinster recreation. 

Williams was given a 12-month ban – later diminished to 4 months – whereas Quins director of rugby Dean Richards was slapped with a 3-yr ban and there was additionally a two-yr ban for physio Steph Brennan.

Hansie Cronje

Cronje was a beloved determine in South African cricket on the flip of the century however, simply 4 months later, his fame was irredeemably shattered due to his position in a match-fixing scandal.  

In April 2000, New Delhi police mentioned that they had telephone recordings of him and an Indian bookmaker discussing predetermined performances throughout South Africa’s tour of India the earlier month.

An outraged Cronje strenuously rebuffed the allegations at first however quickly afterwards he was stripped of the South Africa captaincy, a place he had held with out problem for six years. 

That got here after Dr Ali Bacher – chairman of the United Cricket Board, the precursor to Cricket South Africa – revealed Cronje had not been ‘completely sincere’ in his denials. 

Cronje later confessed to a lot of allegations at a Government-appointed King Commission.

Former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje played a crucial role in a match-fixing scandal

Former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje performed an important position in a match-fixing scandal

The listening to heard Cronje tried to coerce Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams with bribes to underperform in an ODI towards India.

Cronje himself admitted to accepting round $130,000 (£100,000) over a lot of years from bookmakers to prearrange a lot of situations. 

Cronje was discovered to have been paid round £5,000 and a leather-based jacket for his spouse to ensure there was a constructive outcome in a Test match towards England that appeared to be heading for a washout after 4 days of rain. 

The United Cricket Board banned Cronje from enjoying or teaching in the game for all times in October 2000. He challenged the ruling the next yr, saying he had no need to return to enjoying, solely that he wish to coach in the future however his enchantment was dismissed.

On June 1, 2002, Cronje died aged 32 following a non-public airplane accident.

2000 Paralympic Spanish Basketball Team

Spain’s Paralympic basketball group claimed gold at Sydney 2000 however not all was as it appeared.

Soon after their victory a member of their group, Carlos Ribagorda, revealed 10 of the 12-sturdy squad that beat Russia in the ultimate of the mental incapacity event really had no handicap.

Ribargorda mentioned he had performed for the Spanish Paralympic basketball group for over two years however had no psychological handicap.

He mentioned the one check he had been requested to finish at his first coaching session was six press-ups, after which his blood strain was taken, nor did he face an intelligence check when he was in Australia.

The last group did comprise two gamers with IQs under 70 as required, however the different ten posed as mentally disabled gamers with the assistance of faux medical certificates they had been supplied with. 

At one level in the course of the first recreation of the event, after they had been main China by 30 factors, Ribagorda claimed the coach advised the gamers: ‘Lads, transfer down a gear or they will work out you are not disabled.’ 

Following an investigation the group was disqualified, their gold medals had been handed again and president of the Spanish Federation for Mentally Handicapped Sports, Fernando Martin Vicente, resigned.  


Tom Brady was handed a 4-recreation suspension and the New England Patriots had been fined $1million (£755,000) again in 2015 over the Deflategate scandal that rocked the NFL.

The NFL discovered Brady was ‘at the very least typically conscious of the inappropriate actions’ referring to underneath-inflated balls in the Patriots’ AFC Championship Game towards the Indianapolis Colts. 

The furore surrounding the seven-time Super Bowl winner dated again to the play-off conflict when the Patriots had been accused of utilizing deflated balls in chilly situations, an element that’s believed could make it simpler for quarterbacks to function.

Tom Brady was handed a four-game ban and the Patriots were fined $1million for Deflategate

Tom Brady was handed a 4-recreation ban and the Patriots had been fined $1million for Deflategate

The damning report included particulars of textual content messages between two former Patriots employees members, however Brady refuted the declare he had purposely destroyed his telephone to stop the investigator from accessing his personal conversations, insisting he was as a substitute changing a damaged telephone.

Patriots officers locker room attendant Jim McNally and tools assistant John Jastremski had been additionally indefinitely suspended with out pay by the membership.

The unbiased report discovered it was ‘extra possible than not’ that they ‘participated in a deliberate effort to launch air from Patriots recreation balls after the balls had been examined by the referee’.

Lance Armstrong

Years of canopy-ups and denials lastly caught up with American bicycle owner Lance Armstrong in 2012 when a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation discovered Armstrong had used efficiency-enhancing medication all through his profession. 

He was stripped of all of his achievements from August 1998 onwards, together with his file seven Tour de France titles, and handed a lifetime ban from the game.

The 40-yr-previous elected to not contest doping expenses introduced towards him, dismissing proceedings as a ‘witch hunt’ and claiming he didn’t really feel the method was a good one. 

Armstrong returned from most cancers to dominate the Tour between 1999 and 2005 however fiercely denied allegations of doping till coming clear in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

A doping investigation found Lance Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs in career

A doping investigation discovered Lance Armstrong used efficiency-enhancing medication in profession

Armstrong denied allegations of doping until coming clean in an interview with Oprah Winfrey

Armstrong denied allegations of doping till coming clear in an interview with Oprah Winfrey

During that interview, Armstrong admitted taking banned substances – together with EPO – to assist win the Tour de France.  

He latter admitted he ‘would not change a factor’ in regards to the episode, including: ‘We did what we needed to do to win.

‘It wasn’t authorized, however I would not change a factor – whether or not it’s dropping a bunch of cash, or going from hero to zero.

‘It was a mistake, it led to loads of different errors. It led to essentially the most colossal meltdown in the historical past of sport. But I discovered so much.’ 


Australia’s Test cricket group was dropped at its knees in 2018 by the ball-tampering scandal which led to lengthy bans for captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft. 

Bancroft was caught making an attempt to tamper with the ball with what was later revealed to be sandpaper in the course of the third Test in South Africa. 

After being caught on digicam, Bancroft was proven on the screens across the floor and on tv. The umpires approached the opener however determined the ball had not been altered in a noticeable method.

At the tip of the day Smith and Bancroft confronted the press and conceded that they had cheated in attempting to tamper with the ball. The plan had been drawn up in the course of the lunch break by the ‘management group’ in an try to assist Australia regain some management of a Test which they might lose by 322 runs.

Cameron Bancroft was caught attempting to tamper with the ball in a match in South Africa

Cameron Bancroft was caught making an attempt to tamper with the ball in a match in South Africa

Smith got a 12-month ban for his role and later broke down in tears during his press conference

Captain Steve Smith was banned for 12 months and broke down in tears in a press convention

The fast determination made by Cricket Australia was for Smith and Warner to step down from their roles as captain and vice-captain respectively with Tim Paine taking on. 

In addition to the Australian Prime Minister on the time, Malcolm Turnbull, expressing his shock, an investigation was opened and Smith, Warner and Bancroft had been despatched dwelling earlier than the fourth Test.

Soon after the three gamers had been sanctioned by Cricket Australia with Warner and Smith banned for 12 months and Bancroft suspended for 9 months, with every unable to play worldwide or home cricket throughout these durations. 

They would all participate in particular person press conferences, apologising for his or her actions with Smith and Warner in tears. Head coach Darren Lehmann was cleared of any wrongdoing in the investigation, however selected to resign from his place. 

The episode reared its head once more just lately when Bancroft instructed the bowlers had been additionally conscious of the plan. It pressured Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon to as soon as once more deny any complicity.

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson’s victory over nemesis Carl Lewis to win 100 metres gold on the Seoul Olympics in 1988 in a time of 9.79 seconds was one in every of sport’s real jaw-dropping moments.

But the Jamaica-born sprinter produced one other three days later when he was disqualified.

Johnson’s urine pattern had contained traces of stanozolol and he later admitted he had been doping when setting a brand new world file in 1987.

The disgraced athlete was banned for all times after failing one other medication check in 1993. 

Ben Johnson (second left) won 100m gold at Seoul 1988 but days later admitted to doping

Ben Johnson (second left) gained 100m gold at Seoul 1988 however days later admitted to doping


The Italian soccer scandal, or Calciopoli as it grew to become recognized, ended with the relegation of Serie A champions Juventus – who had been additionally stripped of their title – to Serie B. 

Investigations by Italian authorities into the GEA World participant company ran by Alessandro Moggi, son of former Juventus common supervisor Luciano, led to transcripts of wire-tapped telephone calls which introduced Italian soccer into disrepute.

Luciano Moggi, together with ally Antonio Giraudo, was accused of attempting to affect Juventus’ outcomes by pressuring delegators into allocating sure referees for his or her matches.

Thousands of hours of calls and unearthed by way of wire-faucets throughout the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons had been leaked in transcript type to Italian newspapers and the scandal dominated Italian soccer.

Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi (pictured) was found guilty of being a leading figure in the Calciopoli scandal, which is the most damaging in Italian football history

Former Juventus common supervisor Luciano Moggi (pictured) was discovered responsible of being a number one determine in the Calciopoli scandal, which is essentially the most damaging in Italian soccer historical past

Investigators pursued two allegations which involved Moggi and his son Alessandro. 

In one instance, following a 2-1 defeat to Reggina in November 2004, Moggi and Giraudo are alleged to have accosted referee Gianluca Paparesta in the dressing room, alongside along with his two assistants, and questioned why they didn’t favour Juventus. Those allegations have been strongly denied by Moggi and Giraudo since.

Newspapers additionally continued to launch proof that Moggi allegedly held talks with Serie A directors relating to refereeing appointments. As properly as Juventus, Lazio, Fiorentina and AC Milan additionally discovered themselves underneath the microscope.

On July 4, 2006, simply 5 days earlier than Italy’s triumphant 2006 World Cup last win towards France in Germany, Italian prosecutor Stefano Palazzi known as for the 4 accused golf equipment to be kicked out of the highest flight.  

Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina had been all initially demoted to Serie B however it was solely Juventus that remained in the second tier on enchantment.

Juventus were relegated and had their Serie A titles of 2005 and 2006 stripped from them

Juventus had been relegated and had their Serie A titles of 2005 and 2006 stripped from them

Moggi, regardless of sustaining his innocence, and Giraudo had been discovered responsible of pressuring referees and procuring beneficial officers by means of delegators.

As a outcome, Juventus noticed their league titles of 2004-05 and 2005-06, the latter wrapped up with 91 factors, stripped.

The 2004-05 title was left unassigned however Inter Milan had been later awarded the 2005-06 title, fuelling the animosity between the 2 sides.

Juventus had been initially despatched to Serie B – for the primary time in their historical past – and docked 30 factors for the next season, having had the 91 factors of 2005-06 expunged. It was later diminished to 9 factors and they spent only one season outdoors the highest flight.

Luciano Moggi was initially banned from soccer for 5 years however was later barred from Italian soccer for all times for his involvement. 

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