The five biggest cheating scandals in sporting history

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Football News

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has a huge decision to make over the weekend as it deliberates over the future of Russia's participation at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

CAS upheld a ban on 68 Russian athletes just two days ago and the nation's track and field team remain suspended from the event. However, they are now deliberating over a blanket ban on the country's athletes, with a select few being able to compete under the Olympic flag.

The state-sponsored doping that has embroiled Russia is one of the biggest scandals the world has ever seen. GiveMeSport takes a look at five of the biggest cheats - drugs or not - to ever grace the sporting universe.

Lance Armstrong

Where else to start but with Lance Armstrong? The most disgraced athlete ever. His story was inspiring; winning seven Tour de France titles after battling back from stage three testicular cancer. But it was all one big fat lie.

It may have taken some time, but the real Armstrong was eventually exposed in 2012 as he was named the ringleader of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen."

He was stripped of all of his Tour titles, along with many other accolades, and his lifetime ban - having fought tooth and nail to preserve his image - rocked a sport that was already reeling from numerous failed doping tests from big-name riders.

Almost every sprinter

Like cycling, sprinting has a deeply entrenched issued with doping. From Ben Johnson in 1988 to Justin Gatlin not once, but twice failing a drugs test, the guys just can't stay clean.

Johnson was stripped of his Gold medal from the Seoul games after a sample found anabolic steroids in his system. There have been allegations that all the top sprinters were on them - again much like cycling - but he was one of the few to be caught alongside Linford Christie.

Fast forward and the list of dopers is who's who of the world's best sprinters; Tyson Gay, Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Dwaine Chambers just to name a few. Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake have stayed clean and out of trouble, something they should be commended for. But it isn't just the men, Marion Jones was stripped of three Gold medals in 2000.

Tonya Harding

Nothing to do with drugs, but a moment of madness that defies belief. The former figure skater had an intense rivalry with Nancy Kerrigan heading to the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Instead of beating her opponent on the ice, she allowed her husband and manager to hire a hitman in an attempt to break Kerrigan's leg following a practice skate in Detroit.

The sweet irony of it all is that the attack from Shane Stant only bruised Kerrigan, who still qualified for the Olympics, finishing six places ahead of Harding in second before Tonya was eventually banned for life as the truth came out. Cheating never prospers.

Spanish 'Paralympians'

Arguably the most morally deviant of them all. The Basketball ID competition at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics was dominated by a Spanish team that seemed too good to be true. Well, that's because they were.

The competition is supposed to involve people with an IQ of 70 or below, but it was revealed, thanks to an undercover journalist and a member of the team, that many players had not been tested by the Spanish Paralympic Committee.

10 of the 12 participants, in fact. But it wasn't just basketball, competitors in table tennis, track and field, and swimming were also not disabled, meaning they won five gold medals in Australia through cheating. All in an attempt to get more sponsorship.

Diego Maradona

Now, as an Englishman, this is more of a personal decision, but to this day it is still a disgrace how neither the referee nor the linesman could spot the most blatant handball the game of football has even seen (Thierry Henry, you're a very close second).

England's history at World Cups is well-documented, but this was just a heinous, deceitful act of unsportsmanlike behaviour from one of - and it pains me to say it - the most skillful players to ever grace the hallowed turf.

That was England's time, the Three Lions' moment - we've heard that before. But without that handball, England would've won the game, and definitely (probably not) gone on to win the tournament. Diego, you will never be forgiven.

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Tyson Gay
Commonwealth Games
Usain Bolt
Diego Maradona
Mo Farah

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