Did you know that more than half of the people in the world consider themselves soccer followers? Do you enjoy watching sports and also following who is cheating?
This article will explore some of the top athletes cheating in sports. Read on to discover some of the most shocking and famous scandals in sports history.
1. Tonya Harding Orders Knee Wack
In the 90s, Tonya Harding and her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly worked with Shane Stant and Shawn Eckhardt to attack Nancy Kerrigan at a practice session since she was Tonya Harding's competitor. She was one of the cheaters caught on tape and the video still circulates the internet.
2. Clint Bowyer's Illegal Car
Clint Bowyer and his team lost 150 points when his car failed inspection after a New Hampshire win. He and his team tried to appeal the sanctions but lost trying. Denny Hamlin instead won the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
3. Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong was one of the most famous cheaters. He won 7 Tour de France Titles and overcame cancer so was an inspiration to many. It was later found out that he had used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his cycling career. He lost all of his wins from the Tour de France and received a lifetime ban.
He, later on, confessed to using performance drugs.
4. Ben Johnson
When you're looking for examples of cheating, check out Canada's Ben Johnson. He impressed the world when he won the Olympics in the 80s for a 100m title. It was later revealed that he was using stanozolol. This drug is a banned anabolic steroid. After this, he received a 2-year ban, and the medal went to Carl Lewis instead.
He later on returned in the 90s but received a lifetime ban after he tested positive again.
5. Tom Brady
One of the most known football cheaters is Tom Brady. There was a scandal during the 2014-15 AFC Championship between the Indianapolis Colts and the Patriots. The scandal was about the balls being used and how Brady wanted them slightly deflated to have an advantage.
After this, he was banned for multiple games and was fined $1 million.
6. Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe was known for his ability in all sports. He initially won both the decathlon and pentathlon in the Olympic Games in the early 1900s. One year later, they found out that he had played semi-professional baseball which should have disqualified him from the Olympics.
He then lost all his medals. Several years later after his death, his medals were restored.
7. Danny Almonte
Danny Almonte's parents forged his birth certificate to claim he was 2 years older than he really was. He had accomplishments including throwing a no-hitter in the Little League World Series. After the forgery was discovered, his wins and records were erased.
8. Marion Jones
Marion Jones won many medals in the Sydney Olympics for track. For many years, she denied using performance-enhancing drugs. A few years after the Olympic Games, the truth came out when her drug supplier came forward.
The drug supplier admitted they gave her 5 illegal PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs). She used them before, during, and after the Olympics. She denied this, even under oath. She eventually tested positive and then admitted to taking them.
After this, she was banned from Track and Field competitions for 2 years and had to return the medals. She also spent time in prison.
9. Alex Rodriguez
Throughout his career, Alex Rodriguez denied using performance-enhancing drugs or steroids. Eventually, he admitted to using them for a 3-year window. The baseball league is starting to crack down on players using these drugs.
Others have been accused of using them including Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire.
10. Dong Fangxiao
During the Sydney Olympics, China had used an underage gymnast in the games. She had used a fake certificate to qualify. She and her teammates then lost the bronze medal after this was discovered. China is suspected of repeating this again in later events.
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11. Mike Tyson
In the late 90s, Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson met for a boxing tournament. It was for the heavyweight championship. In a previous fight, Holyfield had beat Tyson. This match, Tyson bit Holyfield twice.
The second time he bit him, he bit off part of Holyfield's ear. Afterward, Tyson was disqualified when he charged Holyfield's corner during a break.
12. Fred Lorz
Fred Lorz was a marathon runner in the St. Louis Olympics in the early 1900s. He completed the marathon quicker than any of his competitors. Turns out he had received a car ride for part of the race.
When this was discovered, he received a lifetime ban. A year later the ban was lifted, and the next year he won a marathon without cheating.
13. David Robertson
In the 80s, David Robertson was found to place his ball closer to the cup than where it should have been. He would place the marker on his putter and pick up his ball at the same time. He was moving the marker closer to the cup.
Robertson was fined and banned for several years.
14. Diego Maradona
Although there was proof Diego Maradona broke the rules, he received no punishment. During the game, Maradona had the ball go into the net using his hand and the referee didn't initially find it. England supporters were unhappy with his cheating event.
15. Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds broke the record for the most home runs by any player. He still holds this record. Turns out he was using steroids. While some still say he's one of the greatest players ever, some don't think that's the case since he used steroids.
16. Steve Bartman
Steve Bartman was part of the Chicago Cubs and held a great lead over outfielder Moises Alou when it came to the great sport of baseball. When Alou went to catch a ball in the game, Bartman deflected the ball away from him. The Florida Marlins were the opposing team in this game, and won multiple runs in the same inning and defeated the Cubs.
Many were angry at Bartman after this for costing the Cubs a win and a spot in the World Series. He eventually moved away and changed his name.
17. Hansie Cronje
Hansie Cronje was a big name in cricket in South Africa. He was the captain of the national team and considered one of the best batsmen. There was a recording of him offering to fix matches to receive money in return. The recording also implicated 3 other players.
He was then banned for life from playing cricket.
18. Shawn Merriman
Shawn Merriman had won Defensive Rookie of the Year and was in the lead of the sacks. In the early 2000s, he was given a suspension after he tested positive for steroids.
After he stopped steroids he hasn't played as effectively.
Some of the most shocking scandals aren't just athletes on their own, but different events or teams cheating together. From the Black Sox Scandal to the Mitchell Report there are plenty of sports scandals out there.
The Mitchell Report
This report to the Commissioner of Baseball into the illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing substances was known as the Mitchell Report. It was about uncovering performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.
It later identified multiple MLB players who were believed to use performance-enhancing drugs or steroids. The list included names such as Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Roger Clemens, and Jason Giambi.
The Black Sox Scandal
The Black Sox Scandal wasn't the name of a team, but instead, it was an event this team threw the outcome of the World Series. In the early 1900s, the Chicago White Sox were found to have purposely lost the series against the Cincinnati Reds.
In doing so, they'd receive incentives from New York City mobster Arnold Rothstein. They were then banned from baseball and disqualified from being in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The 2011 New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal
This New Orleans scandal was known for the ongoing problem of bounties being paid by members of the New Orleans defensive staff. In exchange, Saints players would injure opponents.
The defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, was found to be incentivizing a player who injured the Minnesota Vikings quarterback, Brett Favre. Williams was then suspended before returning back to the NFL. The head coach, Sean Payton, was suspended for 2012.
In the early 2000s, the New England Patriots were found to be videotaping coaches from the Jets. The NFL then fined coach Bill Bellichick. The Patriots were also fined, and lost a first-round draft pick.
Houston Astros Sign Stealing
The Houston Astros had a camera in center field at Minute Maid Park. The camera was to decode signs from the catcher to the pitcher and let the batter know what pitch was coming.
The former bench coach, Cora, told the replay room to tell the decoded information to a player who would then share it with teammates. It was shared using the cellphone of a staff member on the bench, or another cellphone.
The Astros then had a video monitor displayed that had the same footage outside the dugout so players could watch it. Players would hit a trash can with a bat to let the hitter at the plate know what pitch was coming.
They also used a computer software program that showed the opposing battery's signals. A staffer would place the stolen signs into a spreadsheet and then run an algorithm. The algorithm would show the opponent's sequencing and what the signs meant.
They were eventually caught when the former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers told Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal about it. After they were caught, Luhnow and Hinch were suspended for 2020.
Rob Manfred also banned Brandon Taubman who was the former assistant general manager. The Astros also lost their 1st and 2nd round selections in the 2020 and 2021 draft and received a fine. Luhnow and Hinch were both fired after being suspended.
Authorities had found out Michael Vick was having dog fights taking place on his property. Many of the dogs were pit bulls and were found with intense mistreatment and injuries from the dogfighting. Vick and 3 coconspirators were charged with federal conspiracy charges.
Vick went to jail and eventually had to file for bankruptcy.
Pete Rose was once the leading hitter for Cincinnati Reds. After he retired, he became a manager for the Reds. Later, they found out that he was betting on the Reds' games while being their manager. He denied he was doing it, and received a lifetime ban from baseball.
He later acknowledged that he bet on almost every game he managed. While there have been attempts to have him reinstated, they've been denied.
East German Women’s Swim Team
In the 60s-70s, the Eastern German Swim Team were not considered strong in the Olympics. To break this, the government decided to give performance-enhancing drugs to the swimmers without their knowledge. The steroids and hormones looked like vitamins.
After taking the drugs their wins dramatically increased. After Germany was reunified, the doping scandal was discovered. They found out that East Germany was drugging its players from the 60s-90s to increase swimming performance.
1985 NBA Draft Lottery
Many to this day still believe there was a scandal during the 1985 NBA Draft Lottery. Some believe that David Stern, the Commissioner, improved the standing of the New York Knicks franchise. They believe he had the Knicks win the Draft Lottery that year. Currently, it's just speculation and hasn't been proven.