TEN BIGGEST SPORTS SCANDALS EVER!
With Australia’s sporting landscape littered with headlines about systematic salary cap rorts, racist Rugby League legends and all manner of sex and drug-related scandals, ZOO thought it was high time to pay homage to ten of the most dishonorable disgraces ever to blemish the fine face of the athletic world. 1. Melbourne Storm
The Storm will enter the history books as the receivers of Australia’s biggest ever sporting fine. When news broke that they’d been keeping two sets of books in order to retain their top players earlier this year, the NRL stripped them of five cups - two Premiership and 3 minor titles - and ruled that they could not accrue any competition points for the entire 2010 season. The-harsh-or-fair debate continues to rage.
2. Ben Johnson
The Canadian sprinter was dubbed the “Fastest Man Alive” and became a hero in Canada after blitzing Carl Lewis and the rest of the field in the 100 metres at Seoul in 1988. He soon shed his hero status however when a urine sample revealed the fleet-footed beefcake had been chugging plenty of steroids along with his Canadian bacon and maple syrup in the mornings. He was stripped of both medals and pride shortly thereafter.
3. Diego Maradona
Before he was the unhinged foul-mouth coach of Argentina, Maradona was their best-ever player, but he’ll forever be remembered for the infamous moment in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England when, with the scores tied at 0-0 and minutes left on the clock, he leapt above English goalie Peter Shilton and seemed to pull off a miracle header for a goal. However endless, Brit-torturing replays clearly show that he used his hand…
4. Carlton Blues
Argentina secures a win in the 2010 World Cup
In a scandal not unlike that of the Melbourne Storm, a lengthy AFL investigation in 2002 revealed that the Carlton Blues had systematically and deviously breached the regulations of the code between 1998 and 2001. They were fined a then record-breaking total of $987,500, and were banned from receiving priority picks and from the first two rounds of the National Draft for two years.
5. Tyler Hamilton
US cycling champ Tyler Hamilton was busted for blood doping in 2004, but swore the foreign blood cells in his system were not deliberately injected and suggested that maybe they’d come from a twin of his that had died in utero. “Maybe not” said officials to the cheating, albeit highly imaginative Hamilton, and then proceeded to slap him with a lifetime ban, later downgraded to two years.
6. Floyd Landis
Even though he himself claims his only crime is being born more man than the average bloke, Yank cyclist Floyd Landis nevertheless rocked the sporting world in 2006 when, just days after his dramatic victory in the Tour de France, he tested positive for levels of testosterone that would’ve been abnormally high for even the Incredible Hulk. Landis argued his that his freakish levels were natural, but was still stripped of his medal.
7. Danny Almonte
American Little League baseball was stunned to its core when Almonte, one of the most talented junior players ever to walk the earth, was discovered to have lied about his age. His team, the Roland Paulino All Stars, came third in the 2002 World Series on the back of his phenomenal pitching. Just a shame that when a suspicious punter dug up his birth certificate, it showed that he was 14, rather than the maximum age of 12.
8. Trevor Chappell
New Zealand needed six runs off the last ball to tie a one-dayer with Australia in 1981, so Aussie captain, Greg Chappell ordered brother Trevor to roll the ball along the ground rather than bowl it. NZ could do nothing but bat the ball away in disgust as the tactic was not illegal at the time. Rob Muldoon, the New Zealand Prime Minister, called it “an act of cowardice” and “the most disgusting incident I can recall from a game of cricket”.
9. Spanish “Paralympic” basketball team
Even in the low, low world of the sports cheating scandal, this one ranks down at the very scum-soaked bottom. Aren’t the Paralympics all about putting on display the sheer resilience of the human spirit by letting disabled people show the world what they can do? No, it’s all about winning according to the Spanish, who were stripped of their gold medals in 2000 after it was revealed ten of the 12 members of the team were not disabled.
10. Tiger Woods
When the world’s number one golfer was revealed to be a serial love rat late last year, it sent shock waves through the sporting landscape. With his squeaky clean image forever tarnished, Woods lost sponsors and supporters, as well as his smoking-hot missus when it was revealed he had a penchant for getting his putter out for all manner of hot, up-for-it floozies.