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Sometimes it is not all joy and sportsmanship in the world of sports, and throughout its history, several scandals have ended up disappointing thousands of fans, causing worldwide outrage. While some cases still continue to generate serious consequences, others are now a closed chapter, despite they will hardly be forgotten.
In this article, we take a look back at 5 of the most notorious scandals that hit the sporting world. Read on till you get to number one.
The 100m final at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul was a long-awaited showdown between the two fastest men in history: American Carl Lewis and Canadian Ben Johnson. In the race, Johnson won by several meters, beating his own world record. However, three days later he was disqualified after an anabolic steroid was detected in his urine sample.
The news of Johnson´s doping test result was not a big surprise, since on the start line, the runner´s bulging eyes bloodshot and his muscles excessively swollen, were just a clear example of steroid abuse.
The International Olympic Committee suspended six of its members for accepting bribes to choose the US city of Salt Lake City as the venue of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The case shook the IOC and raised questions about the credibility of the so-called Olympic movement. The discovery of corruption forced an internal restructuring and changes in the IOC’s procedure for choosing host cities for the Olympic Games.
Despite what happened, the Salt Lake City Games were a success, with record audience figures for the time.
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In 2015, disillusionment exploded for football fans when an FBI investigation revealed that FIFA president Joseph Blatter and other top officials were involved in corruption to designate the 2018 and 2022 World Cup venues. But not only that, the investigation went deeper and even extended to the issue of television rights.
In May 2015, Blatter, along with six other officials, resigned and were under arrest for corruption in a case that became known as ‘FIFAgate’.
Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace was the most painful for sports fans. The Texan had achieved legendary status in his sport, cycling. He was the winner of seven consecutive Tours de France and a cancer survivor. However, rumors had already begun to surface about his seemingly superhuman performances. Armstrong himself denied any infraction determinately, which made his confession, in 2013, even more shocking.
Investigations later revealed that he had managed a toxic culture of bullying and intimidation to maintain his guiltiness in secret. The US Anti-Doping Agency called the operation “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
In 1986, the FIFA quarter-final match between England and Argentina resulted in a 2-1 win for Argentina, with Diego Maradona scoring both goals. However, the first goal he scored was with his hand and the referee allowed it. This goal remains one of the most infamous scandals in sports and FIFA World Cup History.
Maradona later said that the goal was scored “A little bit with Maradona’s head and a little bit with God’s hand”. That is why the goal was nicknamed “Mano de Dios” (Hand of God).
Unfortunately, there are a lot more scandals in the world of sports. How many more do you know?
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