Infamy! Infamy! Sporting cheats and scams
If Renault are found guilty of the race-fixing charge they face in Paris next week — and the Formula One team announced today they would not be contesting it — the incident will go down as one of the most brazen attempts at rule-breaking in sport.
As our F1 correspondent Alan Baldwin asked on this blog last week, What would you do if someone asked you to drive into a wall?
There are seemingly endless ways to cheat at sport. Here are a few of the most notorious examples from the depths of the sporting archives:
CHICAGO WHITE SOX – After the heavily favored Chicago White Sox lost the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, eight players were charged with being paid by gamblers to throw the championship. The players, including the legendary “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, were banned for life.
BORIS ONISCHENKO – Russian pentathlete Boris Onischenko was sent home in disgrace from the 1976 Montreal Olympics after the Soviet Army Major was found to have rigged the electronic scoring system thanks to a circuit-breaker in the handle of his epee.
DIEGO MARADONA – Argentina won a 1986 World Cup soccer quarter-final against England in Mexico 2-1, with Maradona scoring the first of his two goals with his hand. “it was a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God,” the player said in his post-match news conference, coining one of the most famous quotes in sport.
BEN JOHNSON – Days after winning the 100 metres in a world record time at the 1988 Seoul Olympics the Canadian athlete Johnson tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol and was stripped of his gold medal. The media had been captivated by the rivalry between Johnson and Carl Lewis ahead of the race and the Candian’s subsequent positive test shocked the world.
TONYA HARDING – Harding was banned for life from Olympic skating for trying to cover up a 1994 knee-clubbing of rival Nancy Kerrigan by her then-husband Jeff Gillooly and an associate.
HANSIE CRONJE – In 2000 former South Africa captain Cronje stunned the cricket world after admitting he had accepted about $130,000 from bookmakers to influence the course of matches. He
was subsequently banned for life from the game. Cronje died in a plane crash in June 2002 aged just 32.
PARALYMPICS – In 2000 Spain’s Paralympic basketball team were ordered to hand back gold medals won at the Sydney Games after 10 of their players were found to have no disability.
HARLEQUINS – In August Dean Richards resigned as director of rugby at Harlequins, and was then suspended from world rugby for three years for his role in a faked blood injury to wing Tom Williams during a Heineken Cup game against Leinster.
With a large tip of the hat to Dave Cutler and Chris Barnett of the Editorial Reference Unit here at Reuters.