Notable sports scandals

Notable sports scandals
Lance Armstrong during his interview with Oprah Winfrey. (George Burns / Associated Press)

Fourteen people, including high-ranking officials from FIFA, soccer's international governing body, were indicted Wednesday in what prosecutors say is a $150-million racketeering and fraud scheme. Here's a look some other notable sports scandals:

1919 — The Black Sox

Eight members of the Chicago White Sox are banned for life from Major League Baseball for throwing games and losing the 1919 World Series on purpose in exchange for money from gamblers.

Late 1940s-1998 — Basketball point shaving


Dozens of players at seven colleges were implicated in a point-shaving scandal linked to organized crime that forever tainted City College of New York's accomplishment of winning the NCAA and NIT championships in 1951. Other college basketball point-shaving scandals over the years involved Boston College (1979), Arizona State (1997), Northwestern (1998) and a huge case in 1962 that involved 37 players from 22 schools.


1986 — Southern Methodist football gets "death penalty"

The NCAA canceled a Southern Methodist University football season after discovering that boosters lavished football players with thousands of dollars with the knowledge of college officials. Southern Methodist was banned from playing the 1987 season and the university decided to sit out the next season as well. Upon its return, football had only one winning season in the next 20 years.

1989 — Baseball bans Pete Rose

MLB's all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, was suspended from baseball for life for betting on baseball games. New Commissioner Rob Manfred is considering whether to reinstate the 17-time All-Star, who played for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos, and managed the Reds.

1991-2003 — Baseball's "Steroid Era"

The use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs tainted several of the game's biggest stars and records, including the accomplishments of all-time home run champion Barry Bonds and sluggers such as Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez. MLB began testing in 2003 and over the years has ramped up the penalties for failed tests. However, PED use continued and Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Nelson Cruz are among the prominent players who have been suspended in recent years.

1998 — Salt Lake City Olympics

The United States Department of Justice brought legal charges against leaders of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for bribing members of the International Olympic Committee with payments, land purchase agreements, tuition assistance, political campaign donations and charitable donations to secure the role as host of the 2002 Winter Games. The parties were acquitted, but several IOC members were expelled and others were sanctioned.

2000 — Minnesota academic fraud

Jan Gangelhoff, an academic counseling office manager at Minnesota, revealed the day before the 1999 NCAA basketball tournament began that she had done course work for at least 20 Golden Gophers basketball players over a six-year period. Four players were suspended immediately in a case that resulted in the resignations of a university vice president, the men's athletic director and basketball head coach.

2002 — Voting scheme in Olympic pairs skating

The Canadian pairs figure skating team of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were awarded a second gold medal by the International Skating Union and IOC after an alleged vote-trading scheme between Russian and French judges was discovered. The Canadian pair performed almost flawlessly but their scores did not measure up to the Russian team of Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze at the Salt Lake City Winter Games.

2011 — Sandusky sexual abuse coverup

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 charges related to the sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period, including incidents that took place at the university's football facilities. Penn State president Graham Spanier resigned and athletic director Tim Curley and football coach Joe Paterno were fired. The NCAA punished the university with probation, a postseason ban, a $60-million fine, scholarship reductions and the vacating of football victories, although some of the penalties were later reduced. Sandusky was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison.

2012 — New Orleans Saints bounties

The NFL suspended defensive coordinator Gregg Williams indefinitely, coach Sean Payton for a year, and the team's general manager and another assistant coach for part of the 2012 season after determining that from 2009 to 2011 the team paid bounties from a secret fund to its defenders for big plays — and to injure opponents. Four players were also suspended, although they were reinstated by an arbitrator. Williams was out of football for one year.

2013 — Lance Armstrong doping

After years of investigations, rumors and denials, Lance Armstrong admitted during a television interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had used performance-enhancing substances through much of his cycling career, from 1995 to 2005, including during his seven Tour de France championships.

Source: Los Angeles Times