The 8 Greatest Sports Cheaters of All Time

The 8 Greatest Sports Cheaters of All Time

Anytime an event is exciting enough to wager on, the chances are good that someone, somewhere, will try to beat the odds and tip the scales, in their favor. Over recent years, organized sports have seen their fair share of cheaters and if human nature is any indication, it’s likely that these won’t be the last cheaters it sees. Sometimes, a cheating scandal is so huge, that it changes the way we look at a sport. Here are eight sports cheaters that made the public question the integrity of the games that they love.



8. Barry Bonds (MLB)

Barry Bonds

Bonds swung a bat like nobody’s business and a few of the records he set are still in place. However, once the public got wind of his steroid use, suddenly those records didn’t seem nearly as impressive. As of September 13, 2013, his conviction for obstruction of justice which stemmed from the steroid cover up was upheld.

7. Dong Fangxiao (2000 Olympics)

Dong Fangxiao
Chinese gymnasts seem to be graced with eternal youth and it seems that at each Olympic Games, there is some challenge regarding the ages of the contestants. However, Dong Fangxiao, who won the bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics, was stripped of her medal, when it was discovered she was fourteen years old, not the required sixteen years.

6. East German Women’s Swim Team (1976 Olympics)

East German Women’s Swim Team

Swimming is a tough sport and sometimes, losing can be too tough to handle. So, when the 1976 Olympics came along, the DDR was done with losing and decided to take no chances. As a state initiative, the DDR fed its athletes steroids, under the guise of vitamins, which led to the West German Women’s team taking home eighteen medals.

5. Mike Tyson (Boxing)

Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is arguably the world’s best heavyweight fighter. During his reign, it seemed that he was unstoppable until a fight with Evander Holyfield in 1996 ended with the bout going in Holyfield’s favor. During the 1997 rematch, Tyson refused to lose, but instead of letting his fists do the talking, he made the desperate move of biting his opponent…twice. The second bite even took some cartilidge with it. This fight was the subject of Tyson’s suspension, from the ring.

4. Danny Almonte (Little League)

Danny Almonte
Little League games are not generally the focus of many scandals. The fact is that these are kids, playing the hardest they can and either succeeding or learning to fail gracefully. When the playing field is level, it is amazing to see what kids of similar ages and drives can accomplish. This level playing field was taken away from some of these children, during the 2001 Little League World Series, leaving some feeling disappointed over a loss they did not earn. Danny Almonte, playing for the Rolando Paulino Little League All-Stars from the Bronx, was at least a full two years older than the maximum age permitted to participate in the game. The scandal held such serious implications, that even Almonte’s father faced criminal charges for the stunt.

3. Maradona (MLS)

During the 1986 World Cup, Argentina took a 2-1 win from England, thanks to an amazing point made by Maradona against England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. What makes the point so amazing is that he actually used his hand to get the ball through the net and that the referee missed the call completely, giving Argentina the win.

2. Bill Romanowski (NFL)

Bill Romanowski
While it is hard to pinpoint the worst offense committed by Romocop, there is no question that he is one of the dirtiest players in the game. Some of his offenses include kicking Arizona Cardinals’ fullback Larry Sanders in the head, spitting in the face of J.J. Stokes after being taunted, and, in 2003, he effectively ended Marcus Williams’ career by pulling off Williams’ helmet and crushing his eye socket with a punch. In 2005, Romanowski admitted to using steroids.

1. Lance Armstrong (Tour de France)

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong was more than an athlete to many people – he was a symbol of strength and hope. He showed the world exactly what can be accomplished, when you try and when you “live strong”. Unfortunately, he also showed the world that a record such as his was too good to be true. Once a scandal regarding his long time steroid use was exposed, the public realized that they had been duped. While some people still support Armstrong, the majority of the public is too smart to be fooled again.

There is still honor in sports and those who love the games choose to believe in that honor. Not every player is a cheater. but there is no denying that when they cheat, the go all in. We will no doubt hear of many more scandals in the years to come, but one can only hope that those scandals are simply a blip, in an otherwise wonderful pastimes.