Five sport scandals that made headlines in 2018

20 December 2018 - 07:18
By Ntokozo Miya
Caster Semenya has broken records and stereotypes in 2018.
Image: Via Caster Semenya Instagram Caster Semenya has broken records and stereotypes in 2018.

The sporting fraternity is certainly not immune to drama and scandal. Here are five stories that shocked sports enthusiasts across the globe in 2018.

Serena Williams' catsuit ban

Tennis superstar Serena Williams' fashion choices on match day have always made headlines. In August, her Black Panther-inspired catsuit got no love from the French Tennis Federation (FTF). 

The federation felt the outfit was "going too far" and expressed that it wished not see the ensemble at the French Open in 2019.

Racism on the soccer pitch

Chelsea FC fans put the spotlight back on racism on the soccer pitch after Manchester City's Raheem Sterling was verbally abused during a match between the two teams.

Four men were later banned from attending Chelsea matches. 

European soccer has been plagued by incidents of racism against players of colour. On December 2, The Guardian reported that a banana peel was among the items thrown at Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during a match against Tottenham. 

Ashwin Willemse's walkout

In May 2018, former Springbok rugby player Ashwin Willemse walked off the SuperSport set during a live broadcast, citing that he refused to "be patronised by these two individuals who played rugby during the apartheid, segregated era".

The "two individuals" are his former co-hosts on the sports channel's rugby show, Naas Botha and Nick Mallet.

The Human Rights Commission will begin investigating claims of racism at SuperSport in February 2019.

Caster Semenya takes on the IAAF

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) proposed that athletes with "differences of sexual development", which they believe Caster Semenya to be, should take hormones to lower their naturally occurring testosterone levels. Failure to take the daily hormones will result in exclusion from IAAF competitions.

The federation is concerned that athletes with high testosterone levels have an unfair advantage on the track. 

Semenya is opposing the regulation change. Her case will be heard at the court of arbitration for sport in Geneva, Switzerland, in February 2019. 

Chiefs bring back Ernst Middendorp

When Kaizer Chiefs announced the return of coach Ernst Middendorp to the team, most fans wanted to know one thing: why?

Middendorp had a less than mediocre run when he coached the team in 2006. He even earned himself the nickname "Middendraw" after Chiefs ended the season with 14 draws.

Luckily for Middendorp, Chiefs won the first game after he took over from Giovanni Solinas - but it will be some time before fans start believing that he is the best choice for the coaching position.