The sporting world hasn’t been short of controversy in the last month.
From British cyclist Chris Froome being tackled by a French police officer, to an NRL try being scored after a sideline referee had raised his flag, the mishaps seem to be ever-present. Here are the top 3 controversies of the last month (in no order).
1. World Class cyclist, Chris Froome had charges dropped on a 9 month doping case just days prior to the start of the Tour de France.
The Sky Racing Team juggernaut that is seemingly unstoppable, would normally be spearheaded by Chris Froome. Instead this year his race was tainted by an anti-doping case, in which he tested positive for higher levels of the asthma drug ‘Salbutamol’ than Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules allowed. The races organisation, ASO, banned Froome from racing a week prior to the event. Only for the UCI to come forward and override the decision, clearing Froome of the doping investigation.
Disgruntled fans of the sport all around the country took it upon themselves to display their frustrations. Not only with the domination the Sky Racing team has over the Tour de France, but at the strange circumstances in which the sport’s best rider was allowed to enter its most prestigious race.
During the race Froome was the recipient of a tackle by a police officer after he mistook him for a die-hard fan attempting to participate. Froome was allegedly spat at and attempted to be punched during the race, in a distasteful showing by a small number of fans.
Click below to check out footage of the aftermath of Froome being tackled by the Policeman.
2. Qatar allegedly attempted to sabotage Australia and other nations bids to host the 2022 World Cup.
After a successful and entertaining World Cup hosted by Russia, the events next host has been accused of using Ex-CIA operatives and a PR team to disseminate propaganda about competing countries bids. The two main rivals Qatar faced were Australia, and the United States, and with the 2026 World Cup announced to be hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico, Australian football fans are understandably furious.
An article published by the The Sunday Times stated that Qatar’s organisers had hired a PR team. The company named BLJ Worldwide created an overt campaign, in which was seemingly normal, and a covert campaign to undermine rival countries bids.
The covert campaign allegedly consisted of social engineering attacks. Workers created blog posts posing as normal members of the public, opposing their respective countries world cup bids as well as the recruitment of journalists and bloggers to ‘promote negative aspects of their respective bids in the media’ stated The Sunday Times. Shockingly, reports had also been created that detailed certain aspects or ‘holes’ in the countries bids and attempted to lobby groups to oppose these flaws. For example, the report stated that the NRL would have to cancel its fixtures for 8 weeks if Australia was to host the World-Cup. A group of Melbourne students were then encouraged to display banners opposing the world cup during NRL games as one example.
The PR team allegedly distributed masses of information and greatly influenced the way in which the media perceived it’s respective World Cup bids in an attempt to undermine and highlight flaws.
To read further into the operation, see the full The Sunday Times article here.
3. The Cronulla Sharks scored a try after the sideline referee raised his flag.
In the Sharks 28-24 win against the Canberra Raiders in round 19, a try was scored which can only be described as absurd. The general reaction of a team when they see a sideline referee raise their flag is to stop, as the ball is turned over. Which is exactly what the Raiders defensive line did, allowing Sione Katoa to run past Raiders players as they stood still, with some players also confused after Gerard Sutton raised and lowered his whistle for a potential knock-on.
The try went to the Bunker, with the on-field decision being no-try and the decision was overturned as Katoa never left the field of play. The Raiders went on to lose the game, but the decision tainted the result and Raiders coach Ricky Stuart and Captain Josh Hodgson had a lot to say on the events.
“As soon as you see a flag you stop on your feet” said Hodgson.
“We were all just waiting for the whistle and he ran through and scored.”
Ricky Stuart was animated in his press conference after the game, bringing to light bigger issues in regards to the current state of the NRL.
“All this rot started at round one this year” said Stuart.
“I don’t know who came out and told the referees they had to come in and pick on everything”
Stuart claimed that this is the reason why people are turning off Rugby League.
Tell us how you really feel Ricky.
Check out the try in the highlights below.