10 Worst Sports Scandals

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Just by being a cheap old fart, Chicago White Sox owner Charlie Comiskey touched off one of the worst (and first) scandals in sports history. That his players took money to throw the 1919 World Series spoke to Comiskey’s legendary miserliness. It also shed light on MLB’s reserve clause, which made indentured servants of talented ball players. The ensuing scandal rocked the baseball world and ended up in lifetime bans for eight men on the Sox roster, including all-star outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson. The list of underworld characters involved in the scandal, via Chick Gandil, read like a who’s-who. Gandil persuaded associate and gambler Joe “Sport” Sullivan that the games could be fixed, and noted gangster Arnold Rothstein supplied the cash through his lieutenant, retired boxer Abe Attell. A grand jury trial ensued after the series, which resulted in acquittals. Commission Kenesaw Mountain Landis, though, investigated and banned the eight for life.

#10 – Spanish Paralympic Basketball Team, Sydney 2000

As scandals go, you can’t get much lower than posing as a mentally challenged/intellectually handicapped athlete just to win a gold medal. The 2000 Spanish Paralympic basketball team were like the snakes belly in a wagon rut, competing in Sydney with just two players with IQs lower than 70. In late 2000, team member Carlos Ribagorda came forward and blew the whistle on the scam, as well as on Spaniards competing in other disciplines. He claimed players were not tested adequately and that the handicapped poseurs were provided fake medical certificates beforehand. At one point, the players walloping China and the coach said, “Lads, move down a gear or they’ll figure out you’re not disabled.” As a result, Paralympic basketball was stricken from the Olympic sports roster.


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