The athletic glories of the year were all but buried by news from beyond the bleachers. Performance-enhancing drugs tarred the Sydney Olympics; free-agent baseball player Alex Rodriguez became the poster boy for greed when he reportedly demanded private jets and personal flacks in negotiations with the New York Mets; pro-basketball star Allen Iverson was called on the carpet by the NBA commissioner for misogynist imagery in his new hip-hop release; and football player Rae Carruth faced a real rap: he's on trial for ordering the murder of his girlfriend. For all the murk, some splendid performances managed to shine through.


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