AFTER an unprecedented year of British sport, naming the most outstanding athlete was not going to come without controversy.
There was a list as long as the Thames for Sunday night's Sports Personality of the Year award in London, each and every one of them deserving of the accolade.
For the first time in a while we had a genuine reason to be holding these awards.
Jessica Ennis felt like the natural choice, for both her gracefulness on the track, her likeability off it and for excelling under acute pressure, but Bradley Wiggins was by no means an unworthy recipient.
His Olympic gold medal and triumph in the Tour de France were outstanding, memorable feats and the votes he received were warranted.
Wiggins went through the usual line of thanking those around him as he received the famous trophy but there was one man who received no mention on the night.
The man whose persistence and courage have helped Wiggins now compete in a sport no longer living a lie.
The Sunday Times journalist David Walsh held onto the belief that Lance Armstrong was no 'miracle man' but instead a myth.
Walsh stood firm in his belief the truth would out and in October the American had his seven Tour titles wiped from his record after being found guilty of “sophisticated doping”.
There were others who knew of the falsehoods on which Armstrong's super-human feats were based but Walsh was brave and determined.
Wiggins has been sublime this year on his bike but will ride even easier from now on thanks to Walsh, the unsung personality of sport in 2012.