Cheating in the world of sports

Cheating in the world of sports

Not all the stories that sport has given us are happy. There are times when the neatness of the sporting event has been sullied by skilled people who resorted to unfair practices to literally take advantage.

And they are more than meets the eye, those who took the shortcut to achieve their purposes. Here we review some of the most remembered scandals throughout history.

1. The Hand of God

Diego Armando Maradona starred in the play in the 1986 World Cup, in the quarterfinals against no less than England, a country with which Argentina had engaged in a war for the Falkland Islands as recently as in 1983. The albiceleste star, At 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 meters), he pushed the ball with his hand in a split ball and passed 6-foot (1.83) English goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The entire European team protested unsuccessfully that ‘El Pibe’ had made contact with the hand and not the head to get the score. In the end, Argentina was the world champion in this fair. There is even a song with that name in reference to the event, which is performed by the singer Rodrigo.

Years later, Maradona himself agreed to have pushed the ball with his hand, something that was evident in the images.

2. The Hand of God 2.0

In 2009, a repechage match was played to qualify for the 2010 South Africa World Cup between France and Ireland. The top scorer of the French team, Thierry Henry, helped himself with his left hand to control the ball and eventually cross so that his teammate, William Gallas, made the tying goal, 1-1, which placed Les blues in the appointment of the vuvuzelas and the Jabulani. The whole play was actually a series of bad decisions that hurt the Irish. When the free kick took place there was a Frenchman out of place and he was not penalized, then Henry’s hand arrived and it goes without saying that justice was not done either. Later, the Gaul accepted his guilt. He argued that the play happened very quickly and proposed that the game be repeated, something that did not happen and France went to the World Cup.

3. The Houston Astros tech sign stealing

One of the most recent scandals involved the Astros, when it was shown that they cheated in the season they won the World Series in 2017. It had been one of those beautiful stories of improvement that the sport gives you, until it came to light that the players stole the signals of the opposing pitcher leaning on cameras posted in the center field. When decoding the signs, garbage tanks were hit in the dugout so that the batter knew what type of pitch he was going to face. The MLB fined the franchise $ 5 million, stripped them of two draft picks and suspended manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one year, who were subsequently fired by the franchise.

4. Deflategate

The most winning NFL franchise in recent times, the New England Patriots, was not without controversy. In the American Conference Championship game in 2014 against the Indianapolis Colts, he was accused of having deflated the balls to a lower standard than the regulation, since it makes the launch and reception of the same easier. The Patriots were fined $ 1 million, quarterback Tom Brady suspended for 4 games and lost 2 draft picks in 2016.

Before that, in 2007 coach Bill Belichick had already been involved in another controversy: “SpyGate”, for recording the signals of the New York Jets coaches from the bench. The head coach was fined half a million dollars after the investigation and the Patriots $ 250,000.

5. Lance Armstrong

The American cyclist fooled everyone. Lance was the king of the Tour de France, he conquered it on 7 consecutive occasions, an achievement never seen before, until he confessed to having doped and was stripped of all his titles. The bronze medal he had won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics was also withdrawn and he faced millionaire demands. Armstrong was part of a complex and sophisticated system of doping and oxygenating the blood to improve its performance. Eventually, Armstrong was banned from all professional sports for life.

6. Calciopoly

One of the great scandals in football occurred in Italy in the 2005-2006 season. It was discovered through phone calls that various managers had influenced match-fixing by manipulating referee appointments to favor their teams. The Juventus club, the biggest winner in Serie A, was involved as were others such as Fiorentina, Lazio and AC Milan. Juve ended up relegated to Serie B and was stripped of its Scudettos from the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.

7. Chicago White Sox

It was the final of the Major League Baseball World Series in 1919 between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. The Chicagoans were the favorites to take the victory, however, it was the Reds who achieved the victory. The reversal of roles had a mysterious reason, especially because of the attitude on the field of certain players. Suspicion led to investigation. Eventually, eight players went to trial and found guilty of selling the series. They had been allowed to win in exchange for $ 100,000 that some gamblers would pay them. The salaries of professional players back then were not like today. In the end, everyone involved was suspended for life.

8. Biogenesis Clinic

The Biogenesis Clinic located in Florida, was involved in the doping of several Major League Baseball players, including Alex Rodríguez, three times MLB MVP. Rodriguez received 211 games of suspension for doping (and not cooperating with the investigation), the largest penalty in MLB history. Upon appeal, the punishment was lowered to one season, or 162 games. Another 12 players received 50-game penalties for pleading guilty. A season earlier, Bartolo Colón, Yasmani Grandal and Melky Cabrera had already been disciplined.

Through the years, baseball has been marked with doping cases even by its big stars like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa or Mark McGwire.

9. David Robertson

Scottish golfer David Robertson was suspended for 20 years by the PGA after, at the 1985 British Open, he was found to be shifting the position of the ball to get closer to the hole. Testimonials of their caddies and other teammates who noticed this in the qualifying round contributed to its discovery. It was not the first time in his career that he was sanctioned for manipulations, hence the final sanction.

10. With the help of the Metro

In the 1980 Boston Marathon, Cuban runner Rosie Ruiz was the first woman to cross the finish line. In an interview at the end of the marathon, Ruiz revealed that he had only run a single marathon previously in New York with a time of 2 hours 56 minutes and 33 seconds, having improved the time to 2 hours and 31 minutes to win in Boston. This raised suspicions, which is why an investigation was opened and it was found that Ruiz took the Metro and later rejoined to cross the finish line, for which she was stripped of the victory.

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