The Capital One Cup second round highlight wasn’t the goal avalanche or the steady upset stream but a fair play faux pas. Yeovil scored an injury-time equaliser when Birmingham – 125/1 to win the competition after drawing Swansea – expected the ball returned to their goalkeeper and didn’t right the wrong until assuming an extra-time lead. Yeovil’s poor sportsmanship was punished with shootout misery and indeed a theme of this list is that the majority of miscreants were brought to justice.
World champion Alonso seethed in 2007 as new team McLaren appeared to favour rookie Lewis Hamilton and responded remarkably in Hungary as the pair squabbled in qualifying. Alonso was first to pit before his final lap and stalled to force Hamilton to queue behind him, fleeing in just enough time to complete his last lap but robbing Hamilton of the chance to run again. The Spaniard snatched pole but was given a five-place grid penalty that bumped his nemesis up to first.
Shakhtar trailed Nordsjaelland 1-0 in last season’s Champions League group stage until Adriano misinterpreted Willian returning the ball to the keeper after a break in play as a through ball, running onto it and scoring. Adriano wound up with the match ball, though it was followed by a match ban and an unusual “day of community football service”.
In a scheme that Dick Dastardly would deem too wacky, jockey Carmouche exploited thick fog at Delta Downs in the USA to steer 23/1 shot Landing Officer to a dubious 1990 victory. He ambled back 200 yards as the others raced ahead, waited for them to complete a lap of the course then dashed to the finish. Medical tests and video footage later exposed the fraud, and Carmouche received a lengthy ban.
The least edifying moment of the widely revered summer of British pride and sporting excellence that was London 2012 saw eight badminton women’s doubles players disqualified for deliberately trying to lose their final round-robin matches in search of easier knockout round ties. The inept organisers whose system encouraged such behaviour presumably escaped unscathed.
Serena Williams has attracted acrimony on occasion but was a victim when 4-2 up in the final set of a 2003 French Open semi-final, distractedly serving into the net after Henin raised a hand to indicate she wasn’t ready. Serena requested a replayed point but the Belgian didn’t confess, so the umpire gave a fault. Agitated Serena lost five of the final six games to exit, and Henin wound up champion.