The Wide World of Sports Cheating

Shoeless Jackson i i

Chicago White Sox player 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson was barred from baseball for his role in a plot to throw the World Series. APA/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption APA/Getty Images
Shoeless Jackson

Chicago White Sox player 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson was barred from baseball for his role in a plot to throw the World Series.

APA/Getty Images
Johnson crossing the finish line i i

Canada's Ben Johnson crosses the finish line to win the 1988 Olympic's 100-meter final. Johnson was later disqualified for failing to pass a drug test. Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images
Johnson crossing the finish line

Canada's Ben Johnson crosses the finish line to win the 1988 Olympic's 100-meter final. Johnson was later disqualified for failing to pass a drug test.

Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

The apparent widespread use of steroids — in baseball and elsewhere — calls to mind the rich history of cheating in sports.

Here are some of the most notorious instances of sports cheaters:

Chicago White Sox: Eight members of the team – forever known as the Black Sox – were barred from baseball for their role in a plot to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in 1919. Legend has it that a youngster pleaded with Sox star outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson as he left a grand jury, saying, "Say it ain't so, Joe. Say it ain't so."

City College of New York: The school won both the NIT and NCAA college basketball tournaments in 1950. Players from four New York schools — including CCNY — were arrested and charged with shaving points the following year.

Paul Hornung and Alex Karras: Hornung, a Green Bay Packers halfback, and Karras, a Detroit Lions defensive tackle, were suspended by the NFL in 1963 for betting on their own games. They were reinstated the next year.

Dancer's Image: The only winner in the Kentucky Derby's 133-year-old history to be disqualified for using a banned substance, in 1968.

East German Athletes: As many as 10,000 East German athletes were subjected to a systematic doping program between 1968 and 1988, according to evidence in a series of court cases in Germany.

Pete Rose: Baseball's career leader in hits was banned from the game in 1989 for gambling on sports. At the time he denied that he had bet on baseball. In 2004, he admitted that he did bet on baseball while he was managing the Cincinnati Reds. But Rose said he only wagered on the team to win.

Ben Johnson: The Canadian sprinter was stripped of his Olympic gold medal in 1988 after testing positive for steroids. Johnson was then banned for life after a second positive test in 1993.

Danny Almonte: A native of the Dominican Republic, Almonte threw the first no-hitter in Little League World Series history in 2001. His feat was erased from the record books after it was discovered that he was 14 at the time, two years older than what rules allowed.

Juventus: The Italian soccer team was stripped of its title in 2006 as part of an investigation into a match-fixing scandal.

Floyd Landis: Landis' victory at the 2006 Tour de France was revoked by cycling's governing body after the revelation that he tested positive for doping. In 2007, several more riders were dismissed from the race on charges of using banned substances.

Rick Tocchet: "Operation Slapshot" snared a half-dozen NHL players who bet on pro and college sports – including Tocchet, the assistant coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and a former Philadelphia Flyers all-star. He pleaded guilty in May 2007 to charges of conspiracy and promoting gambling.

Tim Donaghy: The NBA referee bet on pro basketball games, including games in which he refereed. He also tipped off gamblers with inside information. He pleaded guilty in August 2007 to two felony charges.

Bill Belichick: The head coach of the New England Patriots was fined $500,000 — and the team was fined $250,000 — for videotaping the signals of the New York Jets during a game in September 2007. The Patriots also lost a first-round draft pick.

Marion Jones: The track star pleaded guilty in October 2007 to using performance-enhancing drugs. She apologized, retired and returned her five Olympic medals. She was sentenced in January 2008 to six months in prison.

Barry Bonds: The most prodigious home-run hitter in baseball history has been overshadowed by allegations that he is also the most high-profile user of steroids in baseball history. Bonds was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in November 2007. He is accused of lying under oath in December 2003, when he told the grand jury investigating the BALCO steroid ring that he never used banned performance-enhancing drugs. A report issued by George Mitchell in December 2007 mentions dozens more players as having used steroids and says their use in baseball is "widespread."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.