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The List: The Biggest, Most Shocking, Weird Sports Cheating Scandals Of All Time
September 24, 2012
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On this day in 1988, Ben Johnson beat Carl Lewis in the Men's 100m Olympic Final in Seoul - running a world record 9.79, only to be stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

It was a historic and devastating event in Canadian sports history, but also a great jumping off point for our list: The Biggest, Most Shocking, Weird Sports Cheatin Scandals Of All Time.

And since we're on at 7pm now, we've put together our top 7.

The-List-The-Biggest-Most-Shocking-Weird-Sports-Cheaters-Of-All-Time-Sale-Pelletier.jpg 2002 Winter Olympics, the figure skating pairs final - In the long program, Canada's Jamie Sale and David Pelletier skated a clean performance. Their rivals from Russia, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, did not - making a technical error. But when the judges scores came up, the Russians won gold. Five judges gave the gold to the Russians, four to Sale and Pelletier. As it turns out, the French judge said she had been pressured to vote for the Russians in exchange for a first-place vote for the French ice dance pair. In the end, the IOC gave Sale and Pelletier gold medals. But the Russians were allowed to keep theirs.

The-List-The-Biggest-Most-Shocking-Weird-Sports-Cheaters-Of-All-Time-maradona.jpg During the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, Diego Maradona scored twice in Argentina's 2-1 victory over England. But his first goal should never have counted. Maradona reached above his head with his left hand and knocked the ball into the net, but the referee didn't see it. After the game, Maradona said the goal was scored with "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God." Argentina went on to win the World Cup. Maradona apologized more than 20 years later, in 2008. We're sure England really appreciated it.

The-List-The-Biggest-Most-Shocking-Weird-Sports-Cheaters-Of-All-Time-almonte.jpg The star of the 2001 Little League World Series was a kid from the Bronx, New York named Danny Almonte. At 5'8, his fastball was clocked at 70 mph (with the pitcher's mound 46 feet from home plate; that's equivalent to a 92 mph fastball in the major leagues). He threw the first perfect game in the Little League World Series since 1957 and struck out 62 of the 72 batters he faced. Trouble is, the tournament is for 12-year-olds and Almonte was 14. How did anyone find out? Another team hired a private investigator. At least his team didn't win the tournament - under the rules, he wasn't allowed to pitch every game.

The-List-The-Biggest-Most-Shocking-Weird-Sports-Cheaters-Of-All-Time-ruiz.jpg If there's a cheater you kind of have to admire, it's Rosie Ruiz. Ruiz stunned everyone when she won the Boston Marthon in 1980. How did she do it? She came out of the crowd about a mile from the finish, crossed the line and pretended she won with a then record time of 2:31:56. That's pretty amazing, to pull that off. Her victory didn't last long though. Officials sensed something wasn't right, and realized she had registered for the race, but didn't actually run it. Ruiz actually did the same thing in the New York marathon in 1979, and got away with it - earning the qualifying time she needed to run in Boston.

The-List-The-Biggest-Most-Shocking-Weird-Sports-Cheaters-Of-All-Time-harding.jpg Ah, Tonya Harding - the 1991 U.S. figure skating champion and only the second woman to ever land a triple axel in competition. But in '92, she failed to medal at the Winter Olympics and by the 1994 U.S. Championships, she wasn't quite the skater she was. So, Harding's ex-husband hired a guy to "take out" her rival Nancy Kerrigan with a club to the leg. Harding went on to win the U.S. Championships, while Kerrigan had to withdraw. Later, Harding admitted to covering up the attack. But the U.S. Olympic committee allowed her to compete at the '94 Olympics, after she threatened legal action. She finished 8th. Kerrigan won the silver. Eventually, Harding was banned for life by the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

The-List-The-Biggest-Most-Shocking-Weird-Sports-Cheaters-Of-All-Time-ratjen.jpg In the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany had an athlete competing in the women's High Jump named Dora Ratjen. Except, Ratjen was actually a man. He was pressured by the Hitler Youth to bind his genitals and compete against the women. Germany didn't do so well in the previous Olympics, so Hitler figured if they entered a man in a few women's events, they could win more medals. Wrong. Ratjen actually failed to medal, finishing fourth. Really? The man's genitals were binded - no one wonder he couldn't jump.

The-List-The-Biggest-Most-Shocking-Weird-Sports-Cheaters-Of-All-Time-paralympics.jpg At the 2000 Paralympics, the men's basketball team from Spain took home the gold medal in the "intellectual disability" category. However, an investigative journalist revealed one of the greasiest scandals ever in sports. The Spanish players never underwent the testing required to prove they qualified for the event. As it turns out, 10 of the 12 players on the team were perfectly normal. And it doesn't end there. Spain did the same thing in table tennis, track and field and swimming too. Too bad there wasn't a category for "moral disability." Spain would've struck gold every time.

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First The Olympics And The Paralympics, Now London Plays Host To The Robot Olympics

Canada Hopes To Win Up To 50 Medals At Paralympics; Stephen Hawking To Narrate Opening Ceremony


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