Chris Rattue with his latest winners and losers from the wide world of sport.
LOSERS - The Australians
Tennis legend Novak Djokovic's legacy will be fine over time, once the Australian Open hysteria dies down.
It's Australia's reputation which has the real problem after it took democratic principles to the brink in order to turf the Serb superstar out of the Grand Slam tournament.
Whatever your view on the Djokovic saga, removing the red-hot favourite by non-tennis means affects the credibility of the Grand Slam event in pure sporting terms.
Even the battle to win the most Grand Slams in history is tarnished, and will be even more so should Djokovic's history-making rival Rafael Nadal win in Melbourne, although that is unlikely.
The tournament is among the big losers, not the no-vaxx Djokovic. Its status has been compromised, exposed as it was to manipulation by Government popularity-chasing whims which in this case morphed into a fabrication to put it nicely.
The Government Minister's intervention, when unhappy with a court decision, looked a lot like something you might find in a police state.
People say it would have been so easy for Djokovic to get the jab. It would also have been so easy to let his original visa status or the subsequent court decision he won to stand, to let him play and respect the justice system in the process.
But hysteria was allowed to have its way thus reinforcing the debilitating message that we need to keep panicking about the pandemic.
The final court decision, backing the Government intervention, was a rambling mess, and the head judge's attempt to coerce Serbia into toeing the Aussie line laughable. What planet is he on, and what has Serbia's reaction got to do with him? It had all the atmosphere of a show trial.
Australia, a place rife with Covid, has just thrown out someone who doesn't have it, or could be easily isloated, after initially indicating he was okay.
And the saddest part is that Australia - which appeared to give up on attacking Djokovic's credibility - came up with a weird porky in order to shove him back on a plane.
Faced with an unpopular outcome, the Australian Government bulldozed its way over a court decision in any way it could.
Crucially it veered down a dark alley, claiming (drum roll please) that Djokovic was a threat to public order or - heaven forbid - might influence people's thinking.
You couldn't make this up, but they did.
Australians may have woken up feeling safer - although it's hard to know why - but their democracy and belief in free speech has just taken an almighty kicking. The public order allegation was pure fabrication.
Apart from that, the Aussies also ruined their own fun.
Watching the greatest tennis player in history try to break the Grand Slam winning record would have been an amazing experience, particularly in troubled times, and potentially an iconic moment for the Australian Open.
LOSER - The Ashes
There was some great action during the latest five-test epic but overall, the series was a one-sided dud.
Every time England threatened to make it a contest, they collapsed.
Australia chose to make the playing conditions ideal for the bowling attacks, and if they perhaps went a bit far in that endeavour, it is better to err on that side in the name of excitement.
But England's batting was terrible. They just couldn't cope, with their best batsmen continually exposed too early by weak opening partnerships.
Bottom line: The Ashes is no longer the premier contest in world cricket. I'd rate the duels between Australia and India as the most captivating.
WINNER - Neil Wagner
The lion hearted Kiwi medium fast bowler has copped what might be called a respectful bashing for his short-pitched strategy over the years, although he's introduced some variation of late.
England dipped straight into the Wagner play book as the impressive Mark Wood launched a similar barrage at the Australians, and at higher speeds than Wagner musters. His targets included lower order batsmen.
There didn't seem to be any outcry. Indeed, Wood was lauded by the commentators.
LOSERS - The Silver Ferns
What is going on with the national netball team? They keep getting crushed or beaten in a sport we take seriously and most other participating nations only dabble in.
Then again, Australia have often been too good for the Kiwis, and England are vastly improved.
Has the Noeline Taurua magic mysteriously worn off. Given form and results over the last few years, New Zealand netball - while having its moments - appears to have a soft underbelly.