We have already covered our Top 5 Sporting Moments of 2016, and there have been so many. Unfortunately, there were a few bad moments too so we thought we would throw them out there!
Here, we countdown the 5 Worst Sporting Moments of 2016.
No. 5 – Beg, Borrow and Steal
Maybe he was fed up of playing second fiddle to Michael Phelps, or maybe he’s just a straight up idiot. Either way, Ryan Lochte makes a deserved entry on our list.
The Team USA swimmer won sympathy by claiming he was robbed at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics, but it was a lie. In actual fact, it turns out he got drunk, relieved himself on a local petrol station wall and trashed a public toilet. He was later charged with filing a false police report.
No. 4 – Sharapova Served Suspension
Arguably one of the biggest female athletes on the planet, Maria Sharapova shook the sporting world when she announced the failure of a drugs test.
When the news came out Sharapova claimed that she had been taking the drugs for a heart condition. However, as the story grew, it was released that 54 top professional athletes across a range of sports had failed tests for that drug within the first 3 months of 2016.
The kicker? Sharapova also pinpointed her use of the drug as a treatment for diabetes. However, her body’s issue with sugar didn’t stop the tennis player bringing out her aptly-named confectionary line, “Sugarpova”, in 2012.
No. 3 – Fans at Euro 2016
This doesn’t apply to all fans who attended the championships in France last summer, but a select few severely overstepped the line. You know who you are.
If, by chance, you were too intoxicated during the Euro’s to recall who we’re referring to, it was you, England and Russia.
After three days of England fans being their drunken selves in Marseille, the Russians took it up a violent notch. The English mob had met their match – disgrace ensued.
Around 200 seemingly well-trained Russian hooligans launched violent attacks on England’s drunken followers, resulting in several being hospitalised and one left in a critical condition.
Another low point among fans were the flares and fireworks thrown by Croatian fans during their match with the Czech Republic. The seriousness of this act was heightened by the nervous atmosphere already surrounding the championships.
No. 2 – Rio 2016 Olympics
The number two seed on our list isn’t so much a particular moment, but rather a group of moments that just heaped more and more criticism on the Olympics in Rio during the summer.
Firstly, there was the sheer lack of safety and hygiene at the Olympic Village – an unfinished site likened more to the many favelas and slums surrounding Rio, rather than the facilities expected to host the world’s top athletes. The village was so bad that the Italian team brought their own construction contractors to fix up the place, while other teams were forced to splash out on hotels nearby.
Competing facilites experienced the same lack of safety, with one of the main pools being closed due to its water being a vibrant green colour. The reason for its colour was one of many contractor errors – they released 80 litres of hydrogen peroxide into the water in an effort to clean it. We suspect somebody left the chlorine at home that day.
Secondly, the games were marred by doping scandals. These actually began long before the games themselves, with WADA in an ongoing battle with Russian athletes. Once the games began, the scandals increased. In total, 13 athletes were found to be doping. In addition, testers and volunteers decided not to show up, the Brazilian teams went untested, and even the Olympics’ laboratory had its accreditation suspended.
Finally, the dubious behaviour of Olympic committees, officials and referees completely poisoned the atmosphere surrounding the Games. We had the ticketing scams orchestrated by some of the most senior Olympic governors, we had an unprecedented amount of shocking refereeing decisions, and we had non-stop finger pointing from athletes as they singled out officials who took backhanders and brown envelopes in return for fixed results.
The Olympics have never experienced quite so much controversy. It seems that 2016 has been the peak of the event’s trouble thus far.
No. 1 – Chapecoense Plane Crash
Without doubt, 2016’s sporting low point came in the early hours of Tuesday, November 29th as the plane carrying Brazilian football side Chapecoense crashed.
The crash left destruction in its wake, taking the lives of 19 footballers and at least 75 lives overall (some involved in the flight remain in a serious condition in hospital).
The team was travelling to the Colombian city of Medellín, where they were due to play local side Atlético Nacional in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana – South American football’s equivalent to the Europa League.
The crash serves as a cruel and tragic end to what was a fairytale journey for the side from southern Brazil. Furthermore, it provides the darkest moment the sporting world endured in 2016.