The Hall of Fame of Cheaters

Researched by Times staff

•  DANNY ALMONTE: He pitched a perfect game while leading a Bronx, N.Y., team to the U.S. championship game of the 2001 Little League World Series. He was 14, older than the limit of 12, and his feat was wiped from the books.

•  ALBERT BELLE and SAMMY SOSA: Belle was suspended for seven games in 1994 after being caught using a corked bat; Sosa, who had battled Mark McGwire during the home run record year of 1998, also was caught with a corked bat in 2003, proclaimed that he mistakenly had grabbed one of his practice bats, was ejected from the game and subsequently suspended for seven games.

•  EAST GERMAN OLYMPIANS: The first publicized systematic use of drugs was a state plan developed in 1974, leading to massive steroid doping of promising young athletes in training centers in the former Communist nation. After winning 25 medals in the 1968 Summer Games, East Germany won 66 in 1972, 90 in 1976, 126 in 1980 (during a U.S.-led boycott) and 102 in 1988.

•  JIMMY GRONEN: The 14-year-old, at the direction of his uncle, built a magnet into the front of his Soap Box Derby car, gaining a quicker start that led to victory in 1973. He was quickly disqualified.

•  BEN JOHNSON: The Canadian sprinter smashed his world record in the 100-meter dash at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 in an astonishing 9.79 seconds. He tested positive for steroids, had that gold medal stripped and his world record from the previous year invalidated. He returned to competition after his two-year ban, then was banned for life after testing positive for testosterone in 1993.

•  GAYLORD PERRY: He pitched for 22 years in the major leagues, and freely acknowledged afterward throwing illegal spitballs and using a drugstore of substances on the ball to gain an edge. He’s reported to have said, “I reckon I tried everything on the old apple but salt and pepper and chocolate sauce topping.” Elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.

•  ROSIE RUIZ: She rode a subway, soaked the front of her shirt to make it appear she was sweating, and ran a short distance to claim victory in the 1980 Boston Marathon. Exposed as a fraud, she has yet to provide a mea culpa.

•  SMU: In 1986, Southern Methodist University’s football program was shut down for two years for systematic recruiting violations, the only school given the NCAA “death penalty.” Former Texas Gov. William Clements made a financial contribution to a slush fund for players. He lied about it and later said, “Well, there wasn’t a Bible in the room.”

•  RAFAEL PALMEIRO: The Baltimore Orioles slugger, before a House committee investigating steroid use in baseball in March 2005, said, “I have never used steroids. Period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that.” On Aug. 1, Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days after a positive steroid test.


•  FLOYD LANDIS and JUSTIN GATLIN: Landis, the 2006 Tour de France champion, and Gatlin, the reigning co-world-record holder in the 100-meter dash, have tested positive for high levels of testosterone, though neither has exhausted his appeal process.

Researched by Times staff