Search Menu

The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Share

Integrity; sportsmanship; pride: If there are three words that make up the foundation of the sporting world, these three would most certainly be at the top of the list. All sports are built on a drive to improve, the chance to compete against your peers, and the opportunity to build strong bonds with others. To many sports are the building block for life.

But for all those that grow and mature through sports, there are those that take the game a little too seriously. To those few the difference between winning and losing isn’t an option. So instead of trying harder and training longer they cheat. And when a cheater gets going and succeeds in pulling on over on the competition, chances are good he’ll do it again.

And again. And again.

But for every cheats there comes a day when their lies come back to bite them. For these 15 that day came maybe a little later than we would have liked, but in the end they all got what they deserved. Welcome to the biggest jokes in the sporting world better known as the 15 biggest sports cheats of all time.

15. Danny Almonte And “Age-Gate”

13danny almonte The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

The US has recently paid a great deal of attention every year to the Little League World Series, thanks in large part to the wonder of ESPN’s marketing. This has created controversy with some people feeling we are placing an awful lot of pressure on a bunch of 12 year old kids, while others view the event as an American tradition only improved with the coverage ESPN provides. The story of Danny Almonte didn’t help the latter group’s case much, showing that some Little League coaches were willing to do whatever it took to win, even if it meant falsifying birth certificates and using 14 year old pitchers who could throw 70 mph (from 46 feet, the equivalent of a 92 mph fastball from a major league distance) against 12 year old competition.

Almonte became a sensation during the 2001 Little League World Series, throwing the first perfect game in LLWS history since 1957. While Almonte’s team didn’t win the tournament (rules prevented him from pitching every game), it certainly wasn’t his fault. He managed 62 strikeouts out of 72 batters faced, which became much less impressive when it turned out that the 5’8 Almonte was actually 14 years old. How did this fact come to light? Another team hired a private investigator of all things, showing that the world of Little League baseball is a hell of a lot more cutthroat than you’d expect. The resulting scandal was predictably massive, and probably more than a little overblown, but it’s still ridiculous enough to earn the 15th spot on our list.

14. 2002 Olympic Figure Skating Judge’s Scandal

12figure skating The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Figure skating is only a sport by the loosest definitions of the word (I’d call it something akin to dinner theatre personally). This is because the judges have altogether too much say in the outcome, making the results completely subjective and subject to debate. Sports should be as conclusive as possible, that runner ran faster than the other, team A beat team B, etc. That’s what made the 2002 Olympic figure skating judge’s scandal so satisfying.

At the 2002 Winter Games, the Canadian figure skating pairs team skated a flawless program. The Russians had dominated the event for years, and it looked like they would finally lose after making a technical error during their program. But when the results were reveald the Russians won anyway, with judges from Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Poland, Ukraine, and France placing the Russians first. Judges from the United States, Canada, Germany, and Japan gave the event to the Canadians. France was the obvious odd ball in that first group, and the French judge broke down immediately under questioning, claiming that the French skating federation had pressured her to vote for the Russians regardless of what actually happened. This was a tit for tat agreement that would have seen votes come for the French ice dancing competitors competing a few days later.

The IOC went ahead and upgraded the Canadians to a gold medal, but allowed the Russians to also keep their gold medal, which should have resulted in nobody every taking figure skating seriously as a sport again. Alas, we are not so lucky, and must suffer through extensive coverage every four years.

13. Bill Belicheck’s Spying

11bill belicheck The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

This is one of the more recent entries on our list, so I doubt you’ll need much of a refresher to remember that Bill Belicheck was caught taping New York Jets defensive signals and fined $500,000 and a first round draft pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Belicheck won the 2007 Coach of the Year award anyway, proving that anything goes in the NFL as long as you’re winning while doing it.

12. Rosie Ruiz’s Short Journey

10rosie ruiz The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

The marathon is a grueling event, with one of the biggest “playing fields” in all of sports, covering 26.2 miles of ground, leaving lots of opportunities for mischievousness. Rosie Ruiz is probably the most famous marathon cheat of all time. Ruiz “won” the 1980 Boston Marathon in a then record time of 2:31:56, but it was later discovered that she had simply registered for the race and then jumped out of the crowd close to the finish line.

Ruiz helped to inspire many anti-cheating techniques that are still used today in large marathons, including extensive video surveillance and RFID chips worn by all runners that monitors the times that runners arrive at various checkpoints.

11. Joe Niekro And His Famous Emory Board

9joe niekro The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Joe Niekro pitched for over two decades, maintaining impressive longevity in part by throwing the knuckleball, a pitch that is extremely easy on a pitcher’s arm. In 1987, Niekro was pitching for the Minnesota Twins when the opposing team accused him of doctoring the ball. Umpires made him empty his pockets and an emory board and a piece of sandpaper fell to the mound.

In all fairness, knuckleballers do rely on having sharp nails that can tightly grip a baseball. One could see a piece of sandpaper and an emory board helping out with that. But in all likelyhood Niekro was doctoring the ball, and he took his ten game suspension in stride. Joe’s brother Phil, who also threw the knuckleball, reportedly sent Joe a power sander with a 50 foot long extension cord making light of the incident.

10. The CCNY Point Shaving Scandal

8ccny pointshaving The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Gambling seems to be the one unforgivable sin when it comes to athletics. If the legitimacy of a game comes into questions then fans will naturally start gravitating away from the game. If players are gambling, or helping to throw games then sport becomes no different than professional wrestling. One of the most earliest college basketball point shaving scandals involved the 1951 City College of New York basketball team. The incident was one of the earliest college basketball point shaving scandals and involved not just CCNY but six other schools including Bradley University and the University of Kentucky. The scandal entrapped over thirty players and was funded by organized crime.

Ever wonder why the NIT is the red headed stepchild of the NCAA tournament? The CCNY point shaving scandal had a lot to do with that.

9. Dora Ratjen’s Deception

7dora ratjen The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Dora Ratjen was a German athlete who competed in the 1936 Olympics in the High Jump. Not much of a story really, except for one thing: Dora was actually Hermann, a man who was coerced by the Hitler Youth into tightly binding his genitals and competing against women. The German Olympic team struggled in the previous Olympic games, and so it was thought entering a man here and there on the women’s side of things might remedy the situation. But German men couldn’t even beat the women of other countries, as Ratjen finished fourth, failing to medal.

8. Ben Johnson’s Steroid Use

6ben johnson The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Steroids are much in the news of late, with Major League Baseball facing a juicing crisis, but you have to go back more than twenty years to a time when steroids really first went mainstream. The Olympics have a long history of athletes using anything they can get their hands on, but it all came to a head in the 80′s with Ben Johnson being stripped of his gold medal that he won in the 100m sprint, the glamour event of track and field. The scandal was particularly devastating for Canada, who latched onto Ben Johnson with a great deal of excitement and national pride, only to be gutted two days later when it was revealed that Johnson had been using Stanozolol, the same drug Barry Bonds has been accused of using.

7. 1919 Black Sox

5blacksox The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

The 1919 Black Sox scandal is probably the most famous example of athletes throwing a contest of all time. The 1919 World Series pitted the heavily favored Chicaco White Sox against the Cincinnati Reds. Rumors of the series being fixes were rampant even before things got underway, which caused an influx of money to come in betting for the Reds. The rumors were true, and eight members of the White Sox conspired to throw the series, led by first baseman Arnold “Chick” Gandil. All eight players were eventually banned for life, which had the effect of making Shoeless Joe Jackson, one of the greatest players in baseball history, ineligible for the Hall of Fame.

Somewhat surprising fact: The players were motivated to throw the series in part because they hated White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, a legendarily cheap SOB made their players pay for their own laundry, inevitably causing dirty uniforms and the nickname of “Black Sox” which existed well before the throwing of the World Series. So the next time you feel compelled to complain about escalating athlete salaries remember that they are helping to ensure games are fair and on the level, since there’s no monetary motivation to take a fall.

6. Tonya Harding Takes A Hit Out On Nancy Kerrigan

Ah, figure skating again, this time possibly the only event that ever truly made figure skating interesting. Tonya Harding was the 1991 US figure skating champion and only the second woman to ever land a triple axel in competition. She became just a touch more famous in 1994, when her ex-husband hit Nancy Kerrigan in the knee, leading to one of the more pathetic moments in sports history.

Incredibly, Harding still was allowed to compete in the 1994 Olympics after it was found that she had conspired with her ex-husband to attack Kerrigan. The US Olympic Committee tried to bar her from competition, but relented when she threatened legal action. She eventually received a large fine and community service for the attack, and eventually revealed herself to be a complete hillbilly, competing in female boxing, gaining a tremendous amount of weight, and releasing a sex tape that has been rumored to cause blindness.

5. Stella Walsh’s Working The System

2stella walsh The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Stella Walsh had a pretty ingenious sports hack: ambiguous genitalia! Walsh was an Olympic competitor for Poland, winning the gold in the 100m sprint in 1932, and the silver in 1936. Walsh set 18 world records in her life, but accusations that she was male dogged her for years, and she was forced to undergo a gender check at the 1936 Olympics. Which she apparently passed, despite the fact that when she was autopsied following her death it was found that she had male genitalia, along with female characteristics. Further investigation revealed that she had both an XX and an XY pair of chromosomes.

4. Spanish Paralympians Play A Mean Trick

3spanish basketball The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

So you thought the episode of South Park where Cartman pretends to be mentally disabled to enter the Special Olympics was fiction? Think again. The 2000 Paralympics saw the basketball team from Spain take the gold medal in the “intellectual disability” category. Carlos Ribagorda, an undercover journalist, revealed that the players on Spain’s team had not actually undergone the testing required to prove mental deficiency. It turned out that ten of the twelve players on the Spain basketball team were perfectly normal, making us really, really wish some of these games were on YouTube, just, you know, for research purposes. It wasn’t just the basketball team either, participants in table tennis, track and field, and swimming events were also not disabled, making us really wonder about Spain a little bit. Cause, come on, really? Cheating in the intellectually disabled portion of the Paralympics? I’m not sure it gets a lot worse than that.

3. Donald Crowhurst’s Ugly End

14donald crowhurst The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Donald Crowhurst deception carried with it some tragic consequences. Crowhurst competed in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, an around the world yacht race. This was a pretty terrible idea for numerous reasons, chief among them the fact that Crowhurst was an amateur sailor at best, and had never before attempted a lengthy voyage. His main reason for entering the race was to stir up some publicity for a handheld radio direction finder that allowed the user to take their bearing based on marine and aviation radio beacons.

Crowhurst decided to use a boat called a trimaran for the race, naturally a boat that was both untested at lengthy voyages and that had great trouble with capsizing (they are impossible to right once flipped). Crowhurst planned to add an inflatable buoyancy bag that would right the boat, but didn’t get around to it. No, seriously. He also left a bunch of his supplies behind in the frenzy of preparation.

Crowhurst immediately had issues with his boat and supplies upon embarking, and quickly realized he faced the choice of either continuing and more than likely dying, or quitting and facing financial devastation. He chose option three, which involved hanging around the South Atlantic for awhile and making false radio reports about his location. Based on early radio reports he had given the world assumed he was leading the race, causing runner up Nigel Tetley to push his ship to the literal breaking point. Tetley was forced to abandon ship, despite in reality being far ahead of the field. This caused Crowhurst a tremendous amount of guilt, which led him to suicide. His boat was eventually found adrift, along with a 25,000 word log book that included false logs, poems, quotations, and a long philosophical treatise on the human condition. The story has been made into numerous foreign films, and we figure it’s only a matter of time until someone in the US decides to cast Daniel Day Lewis as Crowhurst in a film that will be Oscar bait for all involved. Inevitable really.

2. Panama Lewis’ Lack of Heart

15panama lewis The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Panama Lewis might be the most despicable character in boxing’s history, which is saying something about a sport that has produced some truly disquieting individuals. The lowlight of Lewis’ career was the 1983 fight between Lewis Resto and Billy Collins Jr. in which Lewis removed most of the padding from Resto’s boxing gloves. He also soaked the tape that went on Resto’s hands in plaster of Paris, meaning Resto was basically beating Collins Jr. with a plaster cast for ten rounds. Collins Jr.’s vision was blurred after the fight, leading to depression and a death nine months later in a car accident that some believed to be a suicide. The picture above is what Collins Jr. looked like after the fight. Lewis spent a year in prison for fixing the fight, but went on to train boxers overseas.

A documentary was made about the incident in 2008 titled Cornered!.

1. The Hand of God

1handofgod The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

Easily one of the most famous plays in sports history, Diego Maradona’s goal came six minutes into the second half of the 1986 World Cup quarter-final between England and Argentina. Maradona punched the ball into the goal with his left hand, and referee Ali Bin Nasser allowed it, not having seen the penalty.

After the game and the 2-1 Argentinian victory came Maradona’s famous quote claiming that the goal was scored “un poco con la cabeza de Maradona y otro poco con la mano de Dios” (a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God). The famous photograph you see above shows that the goal was actually scored mostly with the hand of Maradona. Argentina would go on to win the 1986 World Cup, only increasing the significance of the wrongly allowed goal.


Bad, ugly or just downright disgusting, everyone one of these names holds a dark place in our hearts. Their drive to win was insatiable; but their will to win far outweighed their respect for the sport and those who played. In the end they found a place a special place in the annals of history — it’s just too bad it wasn’t the place they were hoping for.

Comments (64)

  1. I thought and still think this is a soccer-based website, so……….

  2. Yeah, so ? Hand of God, no Hand of God, he still has that silverware, hasn’t he ? So I fail to see how his lie came back to bite him, and how he got what he deserved.

    I thought the highest-profile case is Marion Jones, I expected her to be at no. 1. How come she’s not mentioned at all ?

    If you’re going to mention Maradona (even though he doesn’t fit in IMO), maybe Gentile in 82 is also worth a word.

  3. I had no idea about how some people cheated. But this was back before youtube, tivo, replays, and the internet took over. Its a lot harder to cheat or get away with anything now.

  4. Michael Schumacher deserves being in this list more than at least a half of the nominees.

  5. Also, “pulling ONE over on”.

  6. You mention Ben Johnson’s cheating, which as a Canadian I remember was pretty vile. But you fail to mention they gave the gold to Carl Lewis, who was also using steroids, or the fact that the US Olympic Committee knew Lewis was cheating at the time.

  7. Really? Panama Lewis removes the padding from his boxer’s gloves and Resto goes out and nearly beats a guy to death and, somehow, Maradona’s handball was worse? Maradona committed an infraction that could have just as easily gotten him sent off instead of onto the score sheet. What’s the worst thing that happened? England went out of the World Cup? Would anyone have cared if he had done this to Uruguay instead?

  8. What about the 1972 Olympics final basketball game between Russia and the US? Clear cheating by the officials. This was profiled in the HBO Documentary “:03 Seconds From Gold” and is a fabulous story.

  9. Also, Neikro was hardly the worst when it came to doctoring the ball. Gaylord Perry was notorious for using Vaseline on his pitches, so much so that he offered to endorse the product and even named his autobiography “Me and the Spitter.” Sportscasters would comment about how they had trouble seeing the field if enough foul balls from Perry’s pitches struck the window of the booth since there would be huge grease stains where the balls hit. Kevin Gross was caught with sandpaper in his glove when he was with the Dodgers (I think – maybe it was the Rangers). Also, Cy Young Award Winner Mike Scott was notorious for scuffing the ball with sandpaper and his split-finger fastball was so unhittable that teams often kept his defaced baseballs and sent them to the league.

  10. The only problem with Maradona’s handball was that the refs missed the call. You can hardly blame it on him. I guarantee you any player in that position would gladly take the goal and not admit to it. By the way, if you look at the video again, he was also offside. Refs missed that too!

  11. Okay, I take that back. I just looked at it again and it was kicked up by a defender. Not offside.

  12. maradona has done it maybe a half a dozen documented times: england, mexico, colombia, and everytime on decisive matches, which eventually led argentina to win a cup or tournament or something.
    what lewis did was criminal, but maradona’s cheat had bigger impact on sports. and still there’s people in argentina that swear by him….

  13. Great article,its easily one of your best over the years!..but after reading this,i actually have a new found respect for the ‘Black Sox’,and as much as i can’t stand Baseball i’m gonna root for the Boston Red Sox team next time i see them play :)

  14. D10S Nº1!

  15. maradona’s hand of god incident shouldn’t be no.1. It wasn’t premeditated prior to the match and referee’s mistake was involved. Handballs in the penalty area and bad officiating happen all the time it’s just that this one happen in a world stage to England.

  16. All you “Mardona excusers” are pathetic. Whether it was premeditated or not he cheated, he knew he cheated and did nothing about it.

    That tells you everything you need to know about his (lack) of Charactor.

    Pathetic.

  17. To be honest, I thought not including one Mr. Hansie Cronje in this list renders this rather lightweight.

    But I think this may have been written by an American, so he may not know his cricket, but surely he could have consulted some people around. :)

    Maradona’s act was ceremonial in its presence at the top of this list primarily because this is a footy blog, and the incident has been blown way out of proportion because the ‘tough and fair’ Englishmen were knocked out of it.

  18. I was with this until the final 3. Numbers 2 and 3 resulted in people’s death from pre-meditated cheating. Number 2 could’ve easily led to murder charges. Number 1 is a referee’s botched call? Somehow, that’s bigger than death. WHAT?!?!?!

    Try a little perspective! Dead people > bad referee.

    Awful bias, just awful.

  19. Marion Jones anyone?

  20. I protest against calling Stella Walsh a cheat! In all Olympics there are women with Y-chromososmes like Stella. They do not know that for themselfs. One in 600 Olympic atlethes is a girl with Y-chromosomes. On the outside they look like women (with a vagina and breasts). The girls have no uterus and ovaria. But they do not know taht.
    In Holland there is a same case with Foekje Dillema (see the english summary on http://www.foekjedillema.nl). Because they are not aware of this, the cas always end in great tagedy for the girls. In one Asian case a girl commited suicide.

  21. And what about the Marion Jones case?

    What about the Lance Armstrong case?

    Yes, he won against the cancer, but when someone told about analyzing a orine from 4 years ago, when he won the Tour, he was quick on the move for not letting nobody to see he cheated with advanced drugs, which are detectable now, but not when he cheated.

    You can see Lance Armstrong is a quite regular sportman now, nothing special, just 2 years after his last tour winning.

  22. @ Kullman: Lance Armstrong is the most tested athlete on the planet and has yet to come up with a positive test. The ADA is one of the WORST organisations on the planet, and their tests still can’t come up with any dirt on Mr. Armstrong. Why would you even mention an athlete that has never been implicated?

    @ Red Ranter: I actually had nothing to do with writing this piece, but I do know a lot about cricket! :)

  23. spain is different!

  24. Excellent piece, except for one thing: Maradona being no.1. I’d say no. 15 at best. Honestly, isn’t it time to get over this?

    And the Nancy Kerrigan thing. It was awful, it was terrible, violent, disgusting cheating from someone who knew she was losing her crown to a superior opponent. But then…listening to her whining on that You Tube clip, it’s a wonder no-one slapped her round the face and said, “Shut up or I’ll give you something to cry about!”

  25. Does soccer even classify as a sport? I can stand in the middle of the field kicking a can or a ball of yarn around for 90 minutes with no benefit to humanity what so ever…isn’t that the same thing? Anything that has an ending of 0-0 as a consitant score isn’t a sport, it’s a waste of time.

  26. Sammy Sosa’s corked bat

  27. Where’s Franco Harris’ so-called “immaculate reception”? Easily should top Maradona (for American readers anyway).

  28. Cry for me, Jojo. The catch is legit and all you got is your trail of tears to try and say otherwise. The Raiders suck and John Madden is a fat asshole. Buh bye…

  29. aguante maradona !!!!
    la mano de dios.. campeones del mundo 1986.. no vengan a decir que fuimos campeones por ese gol.
    Maradona best soccer player ever !

  30. M A R A D O N A = G O D

  31. Hand of God was cheat, 1966 England goal against Argentina wasn’t in so it was cheating too, an millons of other plays in as many sports. But #1… you are pathetic, get over it. Still hurts? Even without that goal wasn’t sure England would win.
    None of those cases deserve to be in this list, along whith Panama Lewis, Tonya Harding and such.

    Get a life

  32. you forgot to mention the poor oficiating in World Cup 1966 semifinals, oh, may be the referees from countries still playing is not a good idea. Enghish referee for Germany semifinal, German referee for England. That was disgusting…

  33. Nancy Kerrigan was a young lady who couldn’t be stoic about a knee-bashing like an older man would. Therefore one is sympathetic to the suffering of a young innocent lady.

    But there was another, although non-violent incident. At the next Olympics, her main rival Oksana Baiul had had a less than perfect short skating program compared to Nancy Kerrigan. So in the final, if I remember correctly, they were tied. It was left to one judge to break the tie. That judge was from East Germany.

    Also, there were numerous stories about Oksana Baiul being an orphan, etc! She almost came across as the poor, little Match Girl.

    Having said all that, I admire Oksana Baiul for her real triumphs.

    On another Russia vs U.S. incident, Paul Wylie had a superior final skate, compared to Victor Petrenko, at the Olympics. But Petrenko’s history of fine accomplishments won him the better scores, and the gold.

  34. You mentioned Canadian Ben Johnson, but why not any of the Americans caught or suspected of cheating – Butch Reynolds, Marion Jones, Carl Lewis, Kelli White, Tim Montgomery, and a few dozen others?

    http://www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2003/top-us-track-stars-test-for.html
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/07/08/MNGO07I8F71.DTL
    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/17/1050172709696.html
    http://www.salon.com/news/1998/12/cov_04newsa.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/1988/10/18/sports/joyner-kersee-fights-steroid-rumors.html

    Why not mention them? Because they’re Americans? “Americans don’t cheat” is as laughable as “Americans don’t torture”.

    And given the number of dirty Chinese swimmers at the world championships a few years ago, most setting world records, I highly doubt that Phelps was clean either.

  35. I think Maradonna had an obligation to come clean that he used his hand. It was obviousely deliberate as well. He would have been red carded and England would have won the match 1-0.

  36. Maradona has been, and will be, forever, the best football player in the world. Why don’t you make a top ten of stolen islands? I think you should get la pija de adentro del ojete y dejen de llorar. Piratas. Win something, losers! You are from the B. Gatibarriletes.

  37. You forgot toyota in the ’95 WRC.

  38. You gotta love tjese folks defending Maradona. I don’t care if, as some say, he IS God himself. The facts are this: He cheated. He intentionally violated the rules. That’s cheating. He didn’t get caught by the referee. It’s still cheating. If you drive 97mph down Main Street, but don’t get caught, you were still speeding. Same here.

    I can’t argue that the no-call has to stand, even if England got screwed. There were likely another twenty interference or tripping calls on England that were missed. Any of those might have led to a goal. But if Maradona was a real (sports)man, he would have at least admitted the truth, if only saying it was a reaction without malicious intent.

    If FIFA were truly concerned about more than just their filthy lucre, they’d have “sportsmanship” clauses in their rules allowing them to deal with these things. At the very least, Maradona should have been suspended from the semifinals.

    Win, lose, or no effect cheating is cheating. That Maradona never admitted he did it, never mind that he did it on purpose, is reason to infer that he knowingly cheated. That makes him a low-life.

  39. ppl cheat in football all the time
    hell i can name at least two dozen cases off the top of my head for this season alone

    why do ppl keep bitchin about maradona

    is it cos it was against the English?

    rofl

  40. Time for some fun with this!

    @18 That’s Mr Scott To You:
    “Try a little perspective! Dead people > bad referee.”

    Almost right! How about Bad people > Dead referee? :)

    @25 Soccerisforqpeoplethatcan’taffordequipment
    “Does soccer even classify as a sport? I can stand in the middle of the field kicking a can or a ball of yarn around for 90 minutes with no benefit to humanity what so ever…isn’t that the same thing? Anything that has an ending of 0-0 as a consitant score isn’t a sport, it’s a waste of time.”

    Why are you even on a football website (shove your “sockerr”) Go back to your endless ad break, 2 litre coke swilling, hot-dog guzzling excuse for sports that nobody else cares about!! USA my ass!

    @29 santiago: “M A R A D O N A = G O D”

    I’ll go along with that, as long as your depiction of God is a gun toting, cocaine snorting looney! :)

    @31 Peter: “Hand of God was cheat, 1966 England goal against Argentina wasn’t in so it was cheating too”

    Wasn’t that West Germany or have I been in LA LA land for 43 years??

    @34 P.Smith: “You mentioned Canadian Ben Johnson, but why not any of the Americans caught or suspected of cheating”

    Because Johnson was probably THE most notorious case in Olympic history and the sprint event is HUGE. Get over it you maple leaf!

    @36 Bobby charlton: “Maradona has been, and will be, forever, the best football player in the world.”

    No…that would Pele. Get back in line junior! :)

    @38 Joe: Get over it man…for crying ut loud!!

    @39 erwf: Since when did you learn to type more than one line without getting exhausted?? :)

    Glad to get all that off my chest!

  41. luved it when he knocked the english scum out of the cup

  42. A fucking soccer mishap tops your list of worst cheats in history? Are you fucking kidding me? You honestly think that one moment of cheating tops the Patriots and thier YEARS of cheating, or an olympic athlete posing as a female when they are actually a man, or someone taking steroids to win?

    You just exhibited why your site is a bias joke.

  43. Talking about soccer cheats… What about England 1966 World Cup Semifinals? Or South Korea-Italy and South Korea-Spain in SK-Japan 2002 World Cup?

  44. What about Muttiah Murilithran, the Sri Lankan bowler who has CHUCKED every single delivery he has ever “bowled”, and as a result holds the world record for test match dismissals? His record, and the fact he was allowed to continue playing despite an illegal bowling action, are two huge stains on the game.

  45. @10 it was not offside, the english defender touch the ball and send it to Maradona.

    @25 You talk about sports like my mother!!

    Please, don’t forget that after this goal, Maradona make the greatest goal of all times.

  46. Those who remember the Hand of God use it to forget the Goal of the century.

    I am English and I think it is the time to admit the real truth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goal_of_the_century

  47. Fencer Boris Onishchenko´s cheat at 1976 Olympics deserves be here as one of de most diabolical tricks ever done.

  48. Maradona’s “Hand of God” should be like #50 or something…

    These are some of the worst:
    PETE ROSE BEATING ON BASEBALL!
    Lance Armstrong
    Barry Bonds
    Mark McGwire
    Marion Jones
    Funky bat experts- Sammy Sosa (also a roid head), Graig Nettles, Norm Cash, Amos Otis, George Brett, Billy Hatcher, Wilton Guerrero
    Kevin Gross and Brian Moehler liked to scuff baseballs with sandpaper
    1988 Olypimics- boxing fiasco between Roy Jones,Jr. and Si Hun Park in Seoul
    Long list of college football’s disgraceful cheating
    programs
    1976 Olympics- Boris Onishchenko’s magic rapier

    To me, the Spaniards trying to cheat in the paralympics is as low and disgusitng as it gets…

  49. Soccerisforqpeoplethatcan’taffordequipment

    Does soccer even classify as a sport? I can stand in the middle of the field kicking a can or a ball of yarn around for 90 minutes with no benefit to humanity what so ever…isn’t that the same thing? Anything that has an ending of 0-0 as a consitant score isn’t a sport, it’s a waste of time.

    —–

    LOL. Actually Football, what you call soccer is a sport for people with skill. All your american sports are for people who have no skill. Sure, you can kick a ball around for 90 mins, but can you control a ball, slip a perfect through ball, beat 3 defenders etc. Idiot

  50. LOL @ people crying at Maradona. One moment doesn’t change the fact he’s the most epicly godlike human to ever touch a ball of any form. Maybe you should mention that minutes after he punched the ball in, he managed to run around the entire English defence and the goalkeeper to score the greatest goal ever, which only recently was bettered by Lionel Messi. He admitted he punched it in, but that moment doesn’t change the things he did at Boca, Barca or Napoli. It doesn’t change the fact that only the English and Pele don’t like him whilst every other football fan considers him the greatest ever. Even most modern footballers consider him the greatest ever – Zidane, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Cantona, Giggs, Rooney, Maldini you name it, they have said “Maradona”. Even past generation players like Van Basten, Cruyff, Platini, Di Stefano and even George Best considered him the greatest.

  51. the hand of god is a super mistake

    Diego Maradona , i don’t care

  52. Hansie Cronje would be the cricketing eqivilant of the Black Sox, but the all time worst has to be the Australian Chappell brothers with the infamous ‘underarm’ incident.

  53. Maradonnas cheat deserves to be number one.

    I used to live and breath only to play football, and now the game disgusts me!

    The game is built on cheating – and the rules do nothing to discourage cheating either.

    In the 2006 world cup AUSTRALIA were cheated out of a place in the quarter finals by the Italians when some italian CHEAT dived in the penalty box in the last 5 seconds to get a penalty – another 5 seconds and it would have been extra time. – The Aussies were all over the Italians who only had 10 men (the result of a previous cheat). and the aussies had 2 subs left.

    The Italians had to resort to cheating to save their pride – they were not good enough to win on merit. (an NO, Im not an Aussie)
    FIFA seriously need to change the rules to discourage cheating and to save this awesome game from the joke it has become.

    The yellow card is a waste of time.

    I suggest no yellow card, but a sin bin – 10 minutes.
    when a team has a player in the bin – they cannot afford to lose another player for a dive or a professional foul.

    This will result in more goals, less dumb fouls, less diving and pretending. less free kicks which slow the game down, more dribbling and players holding the ball, which is exciting.

    Bring it on

  54. ….not to mention, Maradonna was way off sides, where was the call there?

    • Maradona was not offsides if you watch the play. You can find it on youtube, and better footage on the sports shows that show it. Englands defender made an atttempt to clear the ball he had intercepted that was headed for maradona, and miscued in the heat of the moment. The ball went over his head and maradona had continued his run hoping for a successful through ball. Im not saying the call of off not being offsides wasn’t close, but he was alright.
      Maradona cheated, but he did what was needed to win. The goalie was a little over six foot. Maradona was five foot five. He had to use his hand to win the world cup, if you were in his shoes, wouldnt you?

  55. List aint complete with the biggest cheat of them all
    A one MR LANCE DOPER AMSTRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Where is Floyd Landis – the biggest cheater in the history of cycling. Where is Marion Jones – who had to return back three Gold and two silver medals.

  57. Now you will have to re-arrange the list to inlcude Renault F1 cheating. Surely one of the most serious and potentially dangerous cheating episodes in recent years

  58. I congratulate you to a new hot item on the list. On 23 September 2009 the Danish goalkeeper Kim Christensen of the Swedish football team IFK Gothenburg was caught on television pushing in the goalposts of his goal as he started a game in the Swedish first division. The goal became aproximately 20 cm (8 inches) narrower on the ground, as a result. Being questioned, he said that he had done the same thing many times before. (Please see Telegraph.com from 24 October 2009.)

  59. I don’t believe the Marodona thing should be on the list although I don’t really care about soccer. What he did was a one time thing and unless there is evidence that he had intentions of scoring that way it’s a different story. All the others deserve to be there where there is a constant abuse of th rules and laws…..but he shouldn’t have lied but soccer sucks anyways…just ask the Irish and pathetic FIFA won’t replay the match although the opposing team player who committed the offense requested it along with the Irish team…pretty pathetic.

  60. maradona is a genius !!!!!!!!!!!!! cum on scotland !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. Diego Maradona was a great player and deserved to score the hand of god did justice

  62. What about Carl Lewis testing positive for performance enhancing drugs at the 1988 Olympic trials and the subsequent cover up by the US Olympic Committee? You put Ben Johnson on the list, but after he was stripped of his medal, it went to Carl Lewis who also cheated. In fact, from 1988 until 2000, over 100 US Olympic athletes (including 19 medalists) tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, but the USOC covered it up and allowed them to compete anyway. That is without a doubt the biggest cheating scandal in Olympic history.

  63. wow Maradona are a LEGEND u rock dude