Why 2015 should be remembered as the year some of sports' chickens came home to roost

Scandals have dominated much of the headlines in sport

Zurich, FIFA, arrests

Picture taken from a cell phone video shows hotel employees holding a blanked to hide the identity of a person led out of a side entrance of the Baur au Lac hotel to a waiting car in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (Picture by: Rob Harris / AP/Press Association Images)

Where there are prizes and honours to be won, there will always be cheats.

At least that's one pessimistic view on things. But judging from some of sports' biggest headlines in 2015, bending the rules was a part of the fabric. 

It has been a year when major scandals have hit football and athletics' governing bodies.

For FIFA, the dirty laundry became public in quite ironic fashion as a host of officials were arrested in Zurich while hidden from photographers' lenses with cleaner hotel linen as part of a corruption investigation.

As the US authorities press harder, FIFA's problems have grown legs as the year has gone on with other separate matters investigated.

For example an alleged "disloyal payment" from Sepp Blatter to UEFA president Michel Platini was investigated by FIFA's ethics committee and has resulted in both men receiving eight year bans from football - although appeals against the judgement will be made.

Meanwhile, doping continues to cling to athletics and saw Russia provisionally suspended from the Rio Olympics by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

While Russia deals with the profound allegations of systematic doping, the IAAF has been grappling with its own scandal as its former president Lamine Diack was investigated over corruption charges amid an alleged cover-up of the Russian athletics case.

FIFA and the IAAF are just two of the highest-profile examples of sport - or more accurately the politics of sport - landing itself in the bad news column during 2015, but it could be viewed in another way.

Many of the allegations that came to light this year had been bubbling under the surface for years (over a decade in some cases), yet in the end the chickens did begin coming home to roost eventually.

For example, BBC investigative journalist Andrew Jennings had long exposed the foul play at the heart of the beautiful game's power brokers and there had always been a perception that not everything was above board at FIFA over the past decades.

And it wasn't until 2015 that perception officially became ever more real and tangible as the pieces fell into place and some of the key figures involved began to be brought to justice.

In some ways, the eventual consequences should give some hope in the eternal crusade to rid sport of its less desirable elements. Let's hope 2015 is just the beginning in that sense.