Sporting scandals

In the wake of Lance Armstrong's confession to using performance-enhancing drugs we look at five other disgraces in sport.

Last Updated: 18/01/13 2:27pm

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Lance Armstrong has finally admitted using performance-enhancing drugs, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Last October, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after cycling's world governing body, the UCI, confirmed it has accepted the findings of a United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation.

The publication of USADA's findings lifted the lid on one of the biggest scandals to hit the sport of cycling or any other.

Here, we look at five other high-profile sporting scandals.


Even by Formula One's occasionally Machiavellian standards, 'Crashgate' was a stain on the sport that truly shocked. Under instruction from team bosses Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds, Renault's Nelson Piquet Jnr deliberately crashed during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix in order help team-mate Fernando Alonso. The ruse worked perfectly, with the subsequent safety car period allowing the team to change Alonso's strategy and take the win. Piquet blew the whistle on the scandal a year later, and in the blood-letting that followed Briatore and Symonds left the team and received long bans by motor sport's world governing body the FIA.


Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were issued with life bans from baseball after being found guilty of deliberately losing games in exchange for financial gain during the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. The group of conspirators was headed by first baseman Arnold Gandil and also included Eddie Cicotte, Oscar Felsch, Fred McMullin, Charles Risberg, George Weaver, Claude Williams and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. The involvement of Jackson remains shrouded in doubt, however, after he put up some of the best numbers of the Series. Nevertheless, Jackson and his team-mates were found guilty by a grand jury in September 1920 and never played professionally again.


When Ben Johnson blazed to 100 metres gold at the 1988 Seoul Games in a new world record time of 9.79 seconds the Canadian's profile shot skywards and he was instantly embraced as a hero in his homeland. But within days Johnson's reputation was shattered, never to recover. His time was immediately questioned by silver medallist and long-time arch-rival Carl Lewis, and three days later Johnson was disqualified after testing positive for the steroid stanozolol. Lewis was upgraded to the gold medal, Briton Linford Christie took silver and Calvin Smith of the United States took bronze.


The 2006 Calciopoli scandal engulfed some of the biggest teams in Italian football. The scandal broke after prosecutors intercepted a number of telephone conversations between leading figures in the game, transcripts of which indicated club officials were complicit in trying to influence referee appointments. Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi was deemed central to the wrongdoing and was banned for life, while his club were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles and relegated to Serie B. AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina were deducted points for their involvement.


In what is undoubtedly the most famous case of its kind, South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was given a lifetime ban from playing or coaching cricket after admitting he had received a sum of money from a London bookmaker to 'forecast results'. It emerged that he offered players, such as Herschelle Gibbs, money to perform poorly. After unsuccessfully challenging his penalty in September 2001, Cronje died in a plane crash the following year.

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