Forget Sports Personality of the Year… here's the 12 contenders for Villain of 2012! Barton, Abramovich and Armstrong all feature on our alternative shortlist
15:59 GMT, 16 December 2012
Who is the sporting villain of 2012
Click to view yesterday's poll results
After a golden year of British sport,
it's understandable that tonight's Sports Personality of the Year is
creating so much excitement.
it's worth casting our minds back to some of the less impressive
sporting moments of the year, where our sporting heroes have offered
moments of hilarity, humiliation and in some cases downright disgrace.
Cast your vote to crown the villain of the year 2012. The contenders are…
KP faced a whole lot of controversy after he admitted to sending ‘provocative’ texts to the South African squad about his captain and team-mate Andrew Strauss.
A South African by birth, Pietersen came under fire for an apparent lack of loyalty to the national squad, and further unsettled team-mates with his fascination with the Indian Premier League.
But after much apologising he began his re-integration into the squad during their series in India.
The saga began after a clash between Chelsea and QPR in October 2011, where Terry was accused of using racist language to abuse Anton Ferdinand.
This year, the Chelsea captain, who was stripped of the England captaincy, was cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence by a court.
However, the FA went on to find him guilty of misconduct, and proceeded to fine him 220,000 on top of a four-match ban.
‘Improbable, implausible and contrived’ was how the FA’s disciplinary panel described Terry’s defence, and many felt that the punishment had been far too lenient.
John Terry has been handed a four-match ban in 2012 for using abusive language relating to race against Anton Ferdinand
The Russian has sent Chelsea into turmoil this season, sacking Roberto di Matteo after a string of disappointing results.
They were unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League only six months after winning the trophy under Di Matteo.
Replacement Rafa Benitez has hardly had the warmest welcome and is likely to be on his way as well if Pep Guardiola agrees to take over next season.
So, it is fair to say there is little long-term vision, with Abramovich favouring an expensive and quick-fix solution over anything that requires a long-term investment.
But after saving them from near bankruptcy and using a billion pounds from his own pocket to finance the club, he can run the club how he likes – success or no success.
The Chelsea boss has gone through nine managers since taking on Chelsea, and recently sacked Roberto di Matteo
boat race may often be ridiculed by those without a double-barreled surname, but there was little sympathy for Oldfield, who sabotaged the race by swimming across the path of the oncoming boats in a protest
the act itself wasn’t enough to anger both the crews and supporters, the
smug grin plastered on the Australian’s face as he was led away by
police certainly did the trick.
went on to win the race, but after an Oxford oar was snapped following a
re-start and the Dark Blues bow Alexander Woods collapsed in the boat
at the finish line, there was a distinctly subdued air over the win.
The presentation ceremony was cancelled and there was little celebration from any of the crews. Oldfield was jailed for six months in October.
Michel Platini has proposed that Euro 2020 be held at stadiums all over the continent
The Frenchman is nothing if not ambitious. His proposal of a ‘Euros for Europe,’ with matches being played across the continent in different cities, is certainly novel.
But it has been criticised by fans who feel that it shows a complete disregard for their enjoyment, and an unfortunate focus on money and TV revenue.
The shambles that was the bidding process for Euro 2020, in which Platini expressed a preference for Turkey before their bid was deemed unviable, led to a lack of options for the UEFA president.
Host countries were thin on the
ground, with few being able to afford the new financial burden.
observers have suggested that this cross-continent proposal might be
down to Platini’s hopes for the FIFA presidency in 2015.
It is another blow after his decision to extend the Euros from 16 to 24 teams from 2016 – diluting the standard of what is a brilliant tournament.
The Italian was handed a six-month ban by French racing authorities this year after failing a drugs test.
The drug was taken during what Dettori called a ‘night of madness’ with his friends when the jockey’s career was at a low ebb.
He will return to the saddle in May, hoping to redeem himself on the racecourse, but the 42-year-old has expressed concern that his reputation will never recover.
The Italian jockey received a six-month ban for taking a drug, suspected to be cocaine, during a 'night of madness.'
Has ever a hero fallen so hard as Lance Armstrong It is hard to recall anyone who has made such a leap from being respected to disgraced.
The cancer-surviving cyclist had all seven of his Tour de France titles stripped this year after the US Anti-Doping Agency accused him of running ‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.’
Armstrong, while maintaining his innocence, chose not to fight the report produced by the USADA.
But while the strides he made on the bike have now been called into question, the efforts he made to aid cancer research will remain perhaps his greatest achievement.
Although he has now stepped down as the head of Livestrong, the $500million that he helped raise remains.
David Haye and Dereck Chisora
A bit of trash talk is to be expected surrounding bouts in professional boxing, but David Haye and Dereck Chisora took it a step too far in a press conference back in February.
The conference was actually being held after a clash between Chisora and Vitali Klitschko in Munich.
But Haye managed to steal attention by goading the heavyweight from the back of the room, prompting Chisora to square up to the Brit.
Punches were thrown and although the pair should have known better than to enter into a brawl with the world’s press watching, the conference soon descended into chaos.
Haye did manage to redeem himself slightly when the two fought a grudge match in July and Chisora was resoundingly beaten.
Warning: This video contains strong language
The Greek athlete is another to have learned the dangers of Twitter the hard way.
triple-jumper was ejected from the national team and sent home from the
Olympics after making a joke that many deemed offensive.
Her tweet read: ‘With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!’
apologising for the tasteless comment, which followed a number of
tweets expressing far-right political views, the Greek Olympic Committee
said her statements had been ‘contrary to the values and ideas of the
Olympic movement,’ and she was sent home.
Greek athlete Voula Papachristou was expelled from the Greek national team at this year's Olympics after tweeting offensive comments
There have been few tennis players able to rival John McEnroe’s infamous on-court tantrums.
David Nalbandian did manage to surpass the American in terms of actual damage caused this year however.
In a moment of anger during his final match against Marin Cilic at Queens this summer, the Argentine lashed out at some advertising boards around the chair of a line judge.
Nalbandian underestimated his own strength unfortunately, and ended up being disqualified after the boards went flying into the linesman’s legs, leaving him with a deep cut.
The 30-year-old was fined 6,400 by the ATP for unsportsmanlike conduct, as well as losing his 36,500 prize money.
He offered a sincere apology following the incident, saying: ‘It is a mistake and I have to pay for that.’
Perhaps not a villain, but more of a village idiot, Barton amused us once again in 2012 with some bizarre press conference antics.
It’s usually his Twitter account that gets people talking. Or violent conduct on the pitch. Or drunken brawls.
Anyway, this year hilarity was caused when Barton appeared in a press conference for Olympic Marseille, and curiously mimicked a French accent.
Earlier in the year there was less amusement when Barton received his second red card of the season for QPR and proceeded to attack Manchester City players, kneeing Sergio Aguero and attempting to head-butt Vincent Kompany.
Barton was typically contrite on Twitter afterwards, tweeting: ‘Still not my proudest moment but who gives a f***, we are safe……….and that is all that matters.’
Joey Barton caused trouble as well as amusement in 2012, attacking Manchester City players after receiving a red card
Eight Olympic badminton players
This was a combined effort at bad behaviour during the Summer Games.
In an attempt to avoid facing harder opponents, four duos tried to make sure they didn’t finish top of their group by losing their last game in the group stage.
A Chinese pair, four players from South Korea and a duo from Indonesia were all dropped from the competition after their poor display of sportsmanship and suffered a severe reaction from a disappointed crowd.