Here are the biggest sporting dilemmas in 2011:

5. Fernando Torres

…shrouded the woeful Spaniard’s future…

Hitting the back of the net only fives times in thirty five appearances, Fernando Torres has cost Chelsea F.C. a monumental £10 million per goal. Such statistics, although belying the striker’s former success with previous clubs, have nevertheless shrouded the woeful Spaniard’s future in doubt. Aptly named Judas by the red half of Merseyside and shunned as a colossal waste of money by his new masters, Fernando must be wondering how he went from El Niño to La Nada. But with Anelka leaving, Drogba expected to depart and Lukaku far too inexperienced for a full season in the Premiership, the onus seems to be on Torres to carry the Chelsea mantle. Either that or Abramovich could buy a better striker. Prediction: expect to see the former Liverpool star in an Anzhi Makhachkala kit next season.

 

4. Drugs in Athletics

…sporting bodies deal with cheating athletes…

With a lifetime ban and removal of all sponsorship deals, an emphatic message was sent out after the discovery of Steve Mullings‘s use of Furosemide. Or was it? In the wake of the BOA’s decision to embrace former steroid user Dwain Chambers, athletics fans could see him make a return to team GB by London 2012. Arguably one of the most contentious dilemmas in history, let alone 2011, the way in which sporting bodies deal with cheating athletes has been contested since the 1960s. Chambers’s reinstation, therefore, could set a dangerous precedent for the acceptance of drug cheats into the athletics community.

 

3. Amir Khan

…slip into anonymity…

Since his silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and subsequent promises of greatness, Amir Khan has never truly reached his full potential. With hopes of a title fight against Floyd Mayweather now dashed, the Bolton born fighter must be reeling from his crushing defeat to Lamont Peterson. Will Khan bounce back, reclaiming his WBA and IBF belts? Or slip into anonymity like so many other promising British boxers? His future still remains to be seen, yet the likelihood of becoming anything more than a good fighter appears increasingly slim, an eventuality that will no doubt pain the legions of hopeful British boxing fans.

 

2. The future of British tennis

…why are we so bad at sports…

“Unacceptable”, “not good enough”, “lacking” – such words have too often been attributed to the standard of British tennis this year. Now, with LTA chief Roger Draper unwilling to predict how many Brits will be in the top 100 come five years time, the future looks worryingly bleak. The question begs, therefore, why are we so bad at sports that we invented? And why can’t Andy Murray win Wimbledon? With the recent success of youngsters such as Liam Broady and Laura Robson, there could be a silver lining, yet 2011 has highlighted that the long-running flaws in British tennis can no longer be overlooked.

 

1. NFL and NBA lockouts

…cope with restricted access…

Lockouts are unheard of on this side of the Atlantic, yet the States saw two in 2011, tumultuously halting the regular season over contracts and financial disagreements. The real dilemma, however, arose from how players would cope with restricted access to team training facilities, health care and coaches during the hiatus. Some players joined European and Asian teams on short term loans, some used public gyms, while others such as Chad Ochocinco and Tom Zbikowski switched sports altogether! There have even been allegations of mass steroid use during both lockouts, accusations that will no doubt bring further direspute to a period in sports that has caused some of the most pressing dilemmas for fans, owners and players alike.

 

About The Author

Modern Languages student at UCL with an interest in Current Affairs and Sport.

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