Quiz on announcements that caused waves in the world of sports

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on November 06, 2020

Tough call: Magic Johnson announced his retirement from basketball after he tested HIV-positive   -  REUTERS/ FRED PROUSER

On November 7, 1991, basketball star Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV-positive and also his immediate retirement from the game. This week’s quiz is all about announcements that caused waves in the world of sports.

1 In October 1988, what exactly did a certain Prince Alexander de Merode announce at a press conference in an Asian capital city?

2 On April 28, 1967, at the Armed Forces Induction centre in Houston, who announced his decision not to join the army, which cost him his licence to play his sport?

3 A press conference between which two boxers in January 2002 ended in a huge brawl in which one of them bit the other’s leg, abused the journalists and threatened to fight everybody in the hall?

4 In October 1993, who made a shocking announcement at a press facility in Chicago, saying he could not bear playing another game with his father not around to watch him?

5 Who shocked the world of cricket on May 13, 2018, with his video statement that he was retiring from international cricket, because he felt he was “running out of gas and it was time to move on”?

6 In June 1994, which Olympic legend came out as gay just before the Gay Games in New York and followed that a year later by announcing he was HIV-positive just around the release of his memoir, Breaking the Surface?

7 “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea” — which sporting star uttered these words at a press conference after winning an appeal about an incident that happened in January 1995?

8 On July 24, 2000, which coup did newly elected Real Madrid president announce that took the football world by storm?

9 Which announcement by two doctors from the Mayo Clinic on June 19, 1939, was followed by an appreciation day on July 4 that year and one of the most moving speeches in world sport?

10 Which sporting legend, in an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs and stated that his “mythic, perfect story” was “one big lie”, and attributed his denials to being “a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted, and to control every outcome”?


1 The 100-m gold medallist at the Seoul Olympic Games, Ben Johnson, had just been stripped of his medal for taking Stanozolol.

2 Muhammad Ali; he was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000.

3 Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. The state of Nevada refused to grant a licence to Tyson after the press conference, so the fight was moved to Memphis later that year. Tyson duly lost.

4 Michael Jordan, who announced his retirement from basketball and went on to play minor league baseball. He returned two years later and led his team, the Chicago Bulls, to three more titles.

5 AB De Villiers.

6 Diver Greg Louganis.

7 Eric Cantona, who was sentenced to two weeks in prison for kicking an abusive football spectator in the chest. Cantona instead served 120 hours of community service.

8 World Player of the Year and Barcelona star Luis Figo’s transfer to bitter rivals, Real Madrid. Figo was repeatedly heckled at Camp Nou and a pig’s head was thrown at him.

9 Baseball legend Lou Gehrig had the incurable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, later often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. His speech on July 4, when he spoke of himself as the ‘luckiest man in the world’, was one for the ages.

10 Lance Armstrong, about his cycling career. This was his first public acknowledgement of his doping.


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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Published on November 06, 2020
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