Becoming a professional athlete and competing at the highest levels is one of the hardest accomplishments to achieve in life. Mainly because sports are virtually the last realm of so called “Meritocracy” which allows only the best to rise to the top. That’s why cheating or scandalous behavior by an athlete is tough to take and probably gets blown out of proportion. Not in these cases…
Perhaps the most despicable act ever perpetrated in Olympics history, just prior to the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Harding admitted masterminding an attack on her chief rival, favorite Nancy Kerrigan. Kerrigan won the Silver anyway and Harding was forever banished to the trailer trash life to which she was always justifiably destined…
1919 Black Sox
It has to be mentioned, mainly because it still is, nearly a century later. It ruined the promising career of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson who didn’t even participate. But, it did lead to rigid reforms which (mostly) resound to this day. Remember. There’s no crying in baseball…
More like a South Park episode than a true scandal, it’s remembered for its appalling tawdriness. 10 of the 12 players on Spain’s Gold Medal basketball squad were later found to be completely “normal” and only pretended to be physically handicapped. The medal was stripped, but the games have never fully recovered.
When a completely unknown and little considered competitor in the women’s 1984 Boston Marathon crossed the finish line way before the legitimate contenders, Rosie Ruiz became a national hero. Until it was proven she’d ducked out of the race early and, incredibly, had even ridden the subway to get closer to the tape. Thankfully, it’s lead to more seriously observed scrutiny and may have even benefited the sport, restoring the honor of a winning marathon run, man or woman.
In 2001, Almonte was used as a pawn by his craven coaches to dominate the Little League World Series competition. When it was later proven he was actually 3 years older than his faked birth certificate stated, the title was stripped. The real tragedy was that Almonte was legitimately gifted, but all but barred from a real career as a pitcher in the Bigs.
This one’s still going on. After the Patriots crushed the Colts 45-7 in the 2014 AFC Championship Game, it was alleged that the Pats’ had seriously deflated the 12 footballs their team provided by up to 2 full psi. Tom Brady played it down, but media outlets have kept the story alive as if it were the equivalent of finding out that Wrestlemania is all scripted. Just this week a four game suspension against Brady for the upcoming season was re-instated. Stay tuned…
Technically not a sports scandal, this case is noteworthy because of what happened after it was revealed that Vick funded a vicious dogfight to the death ring from his home and spent nearly 3 years in jail for the crime. The scandalous part was when the Eagles picked up Vick after he got out of prison. Anything to win?
From 2003 through 2007, NBA referee Tim Donaghy admitted to using his position to beat the spread on games he was officiating. He claimed it was because he was in fear for his life from the Mob, but that excuse kind of evaporated when it was revealed he himself had been enriched by hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way…
Long before Deflategate, Bill Belichick was sneaking around his competitor’s practice sessions videotaping their signals. There’s nothing worse than when a clearly dominant team cheats for even the smallest edge. Kinda like a slimy Richard Nixon tapping George McGovern’s phone when it was clear he’d win the biggest electoral landslide in American political history…
During the 1986 World Cup, Argentine Diego Maradona used his hand to score a goal against England. Video replays clearly showed the illegal (and obviously intentional) move, but the ref never called a penalty and the goal was allowed to stand. If it happened today, there would probably be a world war…
Undoubtedly assured a prominent spot in the baseball hall of fame, Pete Rose threw away his chance when he foolishly (and compulsively) BET AGAINST HIS OWN TEAM while he was a player and a manager for the Reds. He’s been paying the price ever since.
What can we say? This one-balled douchebag won the Tour de France 7 times in a row (honestly, though, does anybody in America really give a crap about a bike race?) when his titles were stripped after he finally admitted he had juiced up the whole time. Possibly the worst part of this scandal, however, is the forever tarnished reputation of his main sponsor: The US Postal Service…