Just like in business and showbiz, there have been some scandals in the sports world. Often there is corruption, but corruption is not the only thing in the sports world that should not see the light of day.
Once in a while, the sports world is unfortunately startled by a scandal. In our country, for example, footballer Olivier Deschacht ran into the lamp because he would have bet on football matches of the team where he himself was active. Wondering which scandals were still in the media? We further investigated for you which sports scandals went around the world.
1. Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal
American cyclist Lance Armstrong was constantly chased by doping allegations during his cycling career. Especially his relationship with the Italian sports doctor Ferrari aroused suspicion.
In August 2005 a story emerges about possible doping use at Armstrong. 1999 samples were examined and tested for banned substances (no official doping tests were conducted in 1999). It showed that Armstrong tested positive on six of the twelve samples. When teammates Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis admit that they got an explanation from Armstrong about doping and saw him administer it themselves, the dolls really started to dance.
After Armstrong was officially charged with doping in July 2012, he decided in August 2012 to stop defending himself at USADA (the US anti-doping agency). As a result, the USADA already deprived Lance Armstrong’s Tour victories. He once won the Tour de France seven times. Today that counter is back to zero.
On January 17 and 18, 2013, a two-part interview between Lance Armstrong and Oprah was broadcast on the American television channel OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). There, the ex-cyclist also admitted that he achieved his Tourzeges with the help of doping in the form of epo, blood transfusions, cortisones, growth hormones and testosterone.
2. The 2006 Italian football scandal
The 2006 Italian football scandal was a bribery scandal in the Italian football league. It is known as it Calciopoliscandal (referring to the Tang topolicorruption scandal from 1992). Referees, members of the football association, board members of football clubs and even politicians were involved in the whole affair.
After a series of investigations into the Neapolitan mafia, the Italian court tapped the phone of Juventus chairman Luciano Moggi. He turned out to be the key figure in the whole affair. For years, football results have been manipulated and league titles bought. Luciano Moggi disappeared behind bars, Juventus lost his last league title and was immediately relegated to Serie B (the Italian second division). Juventus then became champion and a year later, the team was back in Serie A (first class).
The AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina teams were also involved in the bribery scandal. Like Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina had to drop to Serie B. AC Milan received 44 penalties in Serie A, so the team had no chance of getting a European ticket. On top of the relegation, Juventus received another 17 penalties in Serie B.
3. Caustic Luis Suarez
For number three, we remain in the football atmosphere. Although in principle these incidents have little to do with football. The Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez has already bitten an opponent three times during a football match.
In 2010 Suarez crossed the line for the first time during a match against PSV. The attacker is then still active at the Dutch Ajax. During a discussion with several players from both teams, the Uruguayan suddenly bites the back of PSV player Otman Bakkal. Suarez was suspended seven games for this.
After Ajax, the attacker moves to Liverpool, England. In 2013, during a game against Chelsea, the stops are again at Suarez. He bites the arm of Serbian Branislav Ivanovic. In England they apparently act more strictly for such incidents, because Suarez was then suspended ten games.
And on June 24, 2014 it hit again. During the World Cup, the Uruguayan puts his teeth into the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. The defender tried unsuccessfully to show the bite to the referee, who judged that the phase did not deserve a red card. After the match, Suarez stated that such things simply happen in the penalty area. In the end, Suarez was suspended for eight international games. The attacker was once again discredited in 2015 for a biting incident with the Argentinian Martin Demichelis during a Champions League match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City. Several images showed that the Uruguayan had not used his teeth this time.
4. Skating scandal with Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan
The story of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan is undoubtedly one of the most sensational scandals ever. Just before the Lillehammer Winter Games in 1994, Nancy Kerrigan is slapped with an iron bar just below her knee.
Kerrigan was Tonya Harding’s big rival at the time. In addition, she was the second woman in the world to use a triple axel in her practice. Initially that was only reserved for men. At the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, Harding just missed out on a medal, later Kerrigan overpowered her completely and Harding couldn’t accept that.
Tonya Harding has always denied any involvement, although the investigation did lead to her side. Harding’s ex-Jeff Gilooly and his friend Shawn Eckardt paid Shane Stant a sloppy $ 6,500 (or $ 5,400) to carry out the attack on Nancy Kerrigan. Stant was caught red-handed and imprisoned for eighteen months. Stant later stated that the attack could have ended much worse, as there was a plan to cut Nancy Kerrigan’s Achilles tendon that would have left her unable to skate again.
5. Corruption case at FIFA
In May 2015, fourteen people, nine of whom were affiliated with the governing body of the International Football Association (FIFA), were charged by the FBI. They were suspected of bribery, racketeering and money laundering. The police arrested seven more people in the same month because they allegedly accepted 150 million euros in bribes.
The arrests took place around a FIFA congress where a replacement for then FIFA president Sepp Blatter was sought. Many countries demanded his resignation. Blatter declined and won the pageant again. A few days later, Blatter announced his resignation because he did not have the support of the entire football world.
The arrests mainly centered on suspicion of bribery, fraud, money laundering and the granting of media and marketing rights. This mainly happened in FIFA matches in the United States and the United States Copa América Centenario in 2016 (a football tournament celebrating the 100th anniversary of the South American Football Association). There were also allegations of bribery in sponsorship of football apparel, in the host country selection process for the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 FIFA presidential election. In addition, three top FIFA executives (including Blatter) reported significant salary increases each year and the World Cup have distributed premiums and other bonuses to each other.
Ultimately, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini (ex-president of the European Football Association UEFA) were suspended for eight years for violating the Code of Ethics. Both persons are also excluded from all football-related activities at national and international level.
6. Russian doping scandal
No Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo (which have since been postponed to 2021), no Winter Games 2022 in Beijing and no World Cup soccer 2022 in Qatar. That is the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after Russia manipulated doping data for years.
The Compliance Review Committee (an independent WADA investigation panel), wanted to suspend Russia as early as November 2019 because the Russian authorities still failed to dig the doping case to the bone. Russia has previously committed fraud in athletics and during the Sochi Winter Games. That was also proven in 2015 and Russia was suspended. Later it turned out that there was still large-scale doping fraud in Russian sports.
Russian athletes who still want to participate in Winter or Summer Games can still do this if they can demonstrate a flawless doping past. Participation takes place under the neutral flag and not under the Russian flag.
7. Murder of Oscar Pistorius on his wife
The last in the list is not so much to do with the sport. The main character in the story is a well-known athlete. The South African Oscar Pistorius is known as the Blade Runnder or “the fastest man with no legs.” He is the double amputated world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meters. He has won gold in the 200 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics and several other gold medals at the Paralympics.
In 2017, Pistorious made the world press after being sentenced by the Supreme Court to a thirteen-year, five-month sentence for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. Pistorius has always maintained that he thought his girlfriend was a burglar. He shot through the toilet door and hit Steenkamp with three deadly bullets.
According to Pistorius, he was madly in love with his girlfriend and had no intention of killing her, but the public prosecutor and survivors did not believe his story. Witnesses first heard the couple argue, after which several shots rang out. The judge ruled that Pistorius performed the act with premeditation. On September 11, 2014, the athlete was acquitted of murder, but was found guilty of guilty death a day later. In October 2014, he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for manslaughter. In June 2015, he was released early and served the rest of his sentence in the form of house arrest in his uncle’s villa.