Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald's chief sports reporter

Dana Johannsen: A summer of scandals

Armstrong's confession was clearly his attempt at a first step on the road to redemption. Photo / AP
Armstrong's confession was clearly his attempt at a first step on the road to redemption. Photo / AP

Has anybody been able to locate the mystery man who appeared in Botha's corner and told him the fight would be cut to 10 rounds?

Botha claimed a mystery man approached his corner during his bout with Sonny Bill Williams and informed him the fight would be cut short. Why hasn't more been done to find this man? With all the television footage of the fight surely it would not be difficult to track him down. It would help if Botha's camp could provide us with a description of the mystery man. What nationality was he? Was he short/tall/fat/skinny? Did he look suspiciously like fight promoter Khoder Nasser wearing a trenchcoat, fake moustache and dark sunglasses? Will anyone bother to watch a rematch?

After all the claims of mystery men, failed drug tests and $150,000 bribes being offered to Botha to throw the fight - how promoters can think that there is a public appetite for a rematch is beyond me.

How long before Armstrong resurfaces out of his little hidey hole?

Armstrong's confession, particularly through the celebrity vehicle that is an Oprah Winfrey Special, was clearly his attempt at a first step on the road to redemption. He didn't really give much away in that interview, cleverly leaving plenty of dirt to be dished in a tell-all book, once all those pesky lawsuits have been dispensed with of course. As British rider Nicole Cooke said in her impassioned retirement speech on the state of cycling - "the cheats win on the way up, and on the way down". It won't be long before we hear from Armstrong again as he ramps up his sympathy drive. Thankfully, if British bookmakers are anything to go by, Armstrong is unlikely to be the next leader of the Catholic Church. British oddsmaker Gala Coral has listed the zero-time Tour de France champion as a 10,000-to-one long shot to succeed Pope Benedict XVI.

How far will Australian anti-doping authorities and sports organisations go to ensure those individuals and teams that are involved are punished?

If the incidence of drug use and criminal involvement in Australian sport is as widespread as the Crime Commission's report would suggest, there are some challenging decisions ahead for sports organisations to weed out the bad eggs among them. They need to ensure the punishment is severe enough to send out a strong message that drug use won't be tolerated in their sports, without watering down their competitions in the coming seasons. The implications for the NRL are especially interesting. The Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers, Canberra Raiders, North Queensland Cowboys, Manly Sea Eagles and Cronulla Sharks have all confirmed they are part of the ACC investigation. If it is found that drug use was rife within these clubs, will Manly be stripped of premierships in the same way the Storm were for their systematic salary cap rort? There is still a lot to play out in the investigation before punishments can even be considered, but the issue of penalties will be one that will rumble on all year.

Have people forgotten the real victim in the Pistorius scandal?

Since the shocking story broke of Pistorius' girlfriend being found shot dead at the home of the man dubbed the "blade runner", coverage has largely centred on the downfall of a sporting hero. Innocent or guilty, Pistorius' athletic career is in tatters but it seems people have forgotten what has already been lost - the life of a 29-year-old woman. The ultimate victim is not disabled sport or Oscar Pistorius; it's Reeva Steenkamp and her family.

- NZ Herald

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Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald's chief sports reporter

Dana has more than a decade's experience in sports journalism, joining the Herald in 2007 following stints with TVNZ and RadioSport. Over that time Dana has covered several major events including the 2011 Netball World Cup in Singapore, 2011 Rugby World Cup, 2012-13 Volvo Ocean Race, and the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. A multi-award winning journalist, Dana was named New Zealand Sports Journalist of the Year in 2012 after scooping both the news and feature categories at the TP McLean Awards. The previous year she picked up the prize for best news break. She was also an inaugural recipient of the Sir John Wells scholarship at the 2009 NZSJA awards. Dana also writes a weekly sports column for the NZ Herald.

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