Top 5 Sporting Scandals in History


Sport has inspirational stories but also has the dark side of it. Match-fixing, criminal charges and refereeing decisions have marked the history of many, and here we explore 5 of the sporting scandals.

5. Operation Puerto

Operation Puerto is the code name of a still unfinished Spanish Police operation against the pro sports doping network of Doctor Fuentes. This scandal involved several famous cyclists and teams at the time. Media attention has focused on the small number of professional road cyclist  however, sportspeople from other disciplines including football and tennis have also been connected with the scandal, though not officially confirmed. 

4. The Mitchell Report

The Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the illegal use of steroids and other performance enhancing substances by players in Major League Baseball, informally known as the “Mitchell Report”. In addition, the report names 89 MLB players who are alleged to have used steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

3. OJ Simpson

James Simpson is an American former football running back, actor, advertising spokesman, and convicted felon. He is known for being tried for the murders of his former wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend. It took a civil trial, in which he paid $40million total to their families, before any form of guilt was truly discovered.

2. The Hand of God

This was a phrase used by footballer Diego Maradona to describe a goal that he scored during the Argentina v England quarter finals match of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Under football rules, Maradona should have received a yellow card for using his hand. However, as the referees did not have a clear view of the play and video assistant referee technology did not exist, the goal stood and Argentina led 1–0. After the match, Diego stated that the goal was scored “a little with his head, and a little with the hand of God”.

1. Harding Kerrigan

Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were strong rivals for the US National Figure Skating Championships but nobody understood how fierce they were when Kerrigan, was attacked and injured by an unknown man. Her Doctor later stated “he was clearly trying to debilitate her”. Just months earlier Harding reported a death threat which caused her to withdraw from championship. In the end it was discovered that Harding, her former husband, bodyguard and two others had made a plot to take her competition out of play and she was banned from all amateur skating competitions.