The 10 Greatest Sports Cheaters of All Time

The 10 Greatest Sports Cheaters of All Time
 


1. OH, CANADA

Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was disqualified from the 100-meter race at the 1988 Seoul Games after the post-race drug test revealed he’d been using steroids. As far as we can tell, Canada hasn’t been allowed back in the Games since.

2. PATRIOT GAMES

In 2007, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick (pictured) was caught videotaping the New York Jets’ defensive coaching signals. “Spygate” set off a media frenzy and tarnished the Pats’ record; still, there are worse things you can do with a camera in the NFL–right, Brett?

3. ROSIES ARE RED-HANDED

In 1980, Rosie Ruiz won (asterisk) the Boston Marathon in the female category in 2.5 hours. It was later revealed that she disappeared into the crowd, then showed up on the course half a mile from the finish. Oh, and to qualify for Boston, she ran (re: took the subway during) the NYC Marathon. Disqualified, perhaps, but not forgotten as an innovator.

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4. YELLOW-JERSEYED COWARD

When it was revealed last year that Lance Armstrong had been doping the entire time he’d been on a bike (all while denying it), the cyclist had to surrender his bright yellow jersey. Sadly, this makes it harder to find the guy and punch him in the nut.

5. SPANISH TREATMENT

We thought the guys behind South Park made it up, but no: A group of totally healthy, non-handicapped Spanish basketball players infiltrated the 2000 Special Olympics to win gold. How does that plan end well?

6. BREAK A LEG

In sports, cheating usually happens on the field of play–or on the ice, depending on which sports we’re talking about. For figure skater Tonya Harding, it happened the night before the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detriot. We can’t tell you what she was thinking, but we can tell you what she did, which was hire someone to break rival NAncy Kerrigan’s leg with a baton. Such a graceful sport.

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7. BARRY JUICE

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time (asterisk), Barry Bonds is now known mostly for his serial steroid use and his perjury and obstuction-of-justice charges. The Giants won’t let him go, though, occassionally employing his roid-enlarged forehead as an outfield target during batting practice.

8. HAND BALL

In the second half of a 1986 World Cup soccer match against England, Argentina’s Diego Maradona performed perhaps the ballsiest act of cheating in the history of sports. Going up for a header, the player caught the ball in one hand and swiftly drove it straight into England’s goal. The ref didn’t see it, players and spectators were outraged–and Americans everywhere asked what the big deal was.

9. “DISONISCHENKO”

In fencing, points are signaled by a light that indicated weapon-to-body contact. So when Boris Onischenko’s light went off without explanation during the fencing portion of the modern pentathalon at the 1976 Olympic Games, something wasn’t right. It turned out the Soviet had Macguyvered his épée’s grip to activate the light manually. Unsurprisingly, the Soviets have “no recollection” of the event.

10. DIRTY SOX

Lefty Williams, Chick Gandil, and Happy Felsch aren;t characters in a Guy Ritchie film. They’re three of the eight Chicago White Sox caught accepting money to lose to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1919 World Series. Not convicted but banned from America’s pastime, they went on to open an investment bank, or so we heard.

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