S stands not for sport, but for scandal (Sponsored content from Stakers)

Image: Zero Take on Unsplash.com

Sport is not just a physical activity that helps us stay in shape and improve our health. We love it because it’s one of the best hobbies we can afford in our desk life. Sports is a common thread and a way to feel the thrill of the game almost firsthand with exciting betting offers.

But sport is also an industry worth millions and an area to which professional athletes devote their lives. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with the Olympic principles of excellence, friendship and respect. Athlete cheating and misconduct has always been a problem in professional competition. In some cases, famous athletes have been caught and punished with heavy fines or life bans. In other cases, institutional misconduct has ravaged entire leagues and competitions. Such controversies dominate the news for weeks every year.

These headlines reveal a lot behind the scenes of prestigious sporting events and demanding training. For some people, they’re the only reminder that the world of competitive sports exists, so it’s worth at least catching a glimpse of some of the loudest stories of recent years.

In 2021, the doping story of Kamila Valieva, a skating prodigy, was big. The case of a 16-year-old Russian skater, under investigation since December 2021, has sent shockwaves through the community. In November 2022, RUSADA decided that Valieva’s doping verdict would not be published in order to avert irreparable damage to the young athlete. In the games, the pressure was actually too much, because the Olympics page for Kamila Valieva shows only 4th place after gold in team competition.

But controversies against adult athletes are also in full swing, with news such as Petr Yan’s disqualification from the UFC, or the Russian figure skating coach shooting a girl in the forehead, or the Olympic coach’s sexual harassment leading to his expulsion from the sport .

While it’s hard to remember a time when the sport was rid of loud scandals and sordid disclosures, it seems like media publicity and a professional sports career go well together now. From Conor Benn’s drug allegations to Draymond Green’s smashing of Jordan Poole. These aren’t the only major esports scandals of 2022, but they do serve as an example of how certain areas of esports have become a breeding ground for fraud and misconduct.

However, there is a certain type of scandal that is more niche and doesn’t involve breaking the law or porting messages. We’re talking unexpected victories and inexplicable defeats that create new sports stars and make or break bookmakers’ predictions. A few months after the beginning of 2023, we were able to observe a highly interesting men’s ski relay at the World Cup in Dobbiaco. In this case none of the favorites – two Norwegian teams – could win without Johannes Klæbo. The women’s relay was also a scandal due to the coach’s mistakes. Skiing may not be the most popular betting option, but given the variety of new online bookmakers, we’re betting someone has won a fortune.

The direction of international competitive sport remains to be seen, but it is welcome that wrongdoing is coming to light. The sport has never been free from the watchful eyes of the press and hopefully it is the public that allows it to uphold fair play.

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