James led the LA Lakers to a poignant NBA Championship win following the death of franchise legend Kobe Bryant at the start of the year, and in doing so became the first man to be named NBA Finals MVP with three different teams.
Johnson won his first green jacket at Augusta National last month, breaking the record for the lowest ever score at the Masters in the process, while Taylor twice defended her four lightweight world titles to extend her unbeaten professional record to 17-0.
Duplantis broke the pole-vault world record twice in the space of a week back in February, clearing 6.18m in Glasgow, before setting the highest ever outdoor mark at 6.15m in Rome in the summer.
French star Renard led Lyon to a fifth straight Uefa Women’s Champions League, while Khabib overcame the sad death of his father to beat Justin Gaethje to re-unify UFC’s lightweight championship, and promptly retired with his unbeaten record in tact at 29-0.
In addition to the regular awards, organisers are asking members of the public to submit their own entires in the ‘Greatest Sporting Moment’ category, to celebrate the achievements of ordinary people turning what has been a testing year.
The nominees for the main SPOTY award were announced earlier this week, with F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton heading a six-strong shortlist alongside England bowler Stuart Broad, jockey Hollie Doyle, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan and boxer Tyson Fury.