2012-12-28 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
No. 1 Fall from grace
NO. 1 Fall from grace
It was probably the greatest doping scandal as the seven-time Tour de France winner was banned for life after orchestrating the most sophisticated doping program in the history of sport. Armstrong, who has never admitted using performance-enhancing drugs, was wiped from cycling's record books. He also faces legal actions which could see him required to return millions in prize money, bonus payments and settlements.
No. 2 A legend indeed
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games was held in London from July 27th to August 12 with participation from 205 countries and regions. Host Britain enjoyed its best ever Games with 29 golds finishing third in the medals table behind the United States (46) and China (38). Jamaican track superstar Usain Bolt sprinted into the record books, his double-triple of 100m, 200m and a world-record setting 4x100m relay exhausting all superlatives.
No.3 Unbeatable Spain
Spain confirmed its status as one of the greatest national teams in football history by overwhelming Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev, Ukraine, to retain its European crown. Vicente del Bosque's star-studded team became the first side to successfully defend a European Championship title, as well as the first to win three consecutive major tournaments after previous triumphs at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
No. 4 Youngest triple champ
In a gripping season-ending race in Brazil, Sebastian Vettel (below) became the youngest triple champion in Formula One history. The 25-year-old German Red Bull driver, who was involved in an opening lap collision with Bruno Senna, finished sixth. His only title rival, Fernando Alonso, finished second, but it was not enough to overhaul a pre-race 13-point deficit as Vettel winning the crown by just three points. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton ended his close ties with McLaren and is joining rival Mercedes in the 2013 season.
No. 5 Murray finally comes out on top
Andy Murray's (above) five-set win over Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the US Open made him the first British man to win a grand slam singles title in 76 years. The victory came just weeks after he had won the Olympic gold in London against Roger Federer, who had earlier denied him the Wimbledon title.
No. 6 Federer's journey of titles and records
After his Wimbledon success in July, Roger Federer joined Pepe Sampras and Willie Renshaw to own seven Wimbledon titles, while taking his grand slam singles titles to an unprecedented 17. The Swiss has now appeared in 24 men's grand slam finals - with ten of them in a row - both records.
No. 7 Pacquiao goes 0-2
Philippines welterweight boxer Manny Pacquiao suffered a miserable end to the season when he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the pair's fourth meeting. Pacquiao had controversially lost in a split decision to unbeaten American Timothy Bradley in June, but a WBO review declared 'Pac-Man' the winner. His record is still stellar: 54 wins with 38 victories coming by knockout.
No. 8 Greatest comeback
Europe produced the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history to retain the trophy. Trailing by 6-10 going into the closing 12 singles, Jose Maria Olazabal's men won the first five matches out and went on to make sure of victory when Martin Kaymer downed Steve Stricker 1 up in the penultimate match. The team featured Rory McIlroy who enjoyed a stellar year, winning four US PGA Tour titles, including the PGA Championship.
No. 9 Phelps bows out on a high
US swimmer Michael Phelps brought the curtain down on his career with four gold medals and two silvers at the London Olympics, shattering the record for total medals in a career. His 22 Olympic medals altogether erased the previous record - 18 - for total medals amassed by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.
No. 10 Wiggins's golden double