Top 5 Infamous Moments In Sport

Israel ButsonCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2008

Every sport has that one moment that shocks the sporting community. Some sports (we won't name names, will we rugby league?) seem to have these moments every other week.

So, we thought we'd take a look at the Top 5 infamous moments in [recent] sporting history.

5. Ben Johnson - (drug cheat)

The 100m sprint final at the 1988 Seoul Olympics became one of the most controversial moments in Olympic history. It was supposed to be an epic battle between Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis, who was odds-on favourite to win Gold. But, in a stunning turn of events, Ben Johnson ran a 9.79 seconds race to claim the Gold, while Lewis could only watch on in disbelief.

But that was only the beginning of the controversy. Johnson returned a positive urine sample, containing Stanozolol - a banned substance. Three days later he was disqualified, and his Gold medal and world record time were stripped.

We know there have been a lot of athletes caught taking steroids, but back in 1988 it was nowhere near as common as it is today. Johnson getting caught and stripped of his medal was extremely shocking for it's time, and for that reason rates as one of the top infamous moments in our list.

4. Trevor Chappell - (the 'under-arm incident')

This 'incident' is one of the most disgraceful moments in cricket history, and one that no New Zealand cricket fan will ever be able to forget or forgive.

New Zealand needed six runs to tie the match, and Trevor Chappell was about to bowl the final ball - it doesn't get any more tense in cricket. Astonishingly, under the instruction of his brother Greg, Trevor bowled the ball underarm and along the ground, effectively making it impossible for Brian McKechnie to hit over the boundary.

At the time, an underarm delivery was not considered illegal - but WAS considered outside the realms of good sportsmanship.

What made the whole event even more bizarre, was that McKechnie was charged with misconduct after he threw his bat away in disgust.

Unfortunately for Trevor, his whole career will forever be overshadowed by the 'underarm incident'.

3. Tonya Harding - (anything to win)

Ahhh, the vicious sport of figure skating. Or at least it was in 1994, when Tonya Harding conspired with Jeff Gillooly to attack Nancy Kerrigan, her competition.

Jeff and Shawn Eckardt, a friend, allegedly hired Shane Stant to attack Kerrigan at the US Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. Stant did just that, attacking her knee and forcing her to withdraw from the competition - which Harding went on to win.

Harding protested her innocence at first, but later plead guilty, and was given three years probation, 500 hours of community service and fined $160,000. It just goes to show - some people will do anything to win.

The lesson here? Don't mess with figure skaters.

2. Hanse Cronje - (match fixing)

In 2000, South African cricket captain Hanse Cronje was found guilty of match fixing, and given a life ban from all cricket. It was major fall from grace for one of South Africa's greatest batsmen.

Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydom were also caught up in the scandal, but the brunt of the fallout came down on Cronje.

He was allegedly caught trying to pay off his team mates to under perform in certain games, and conspiring with Indian bookmakers to fix the outcome of matches.
The effects of the scandal were felt throughout the cricketing world, as more and more players were believed to be involved in match fixing. But for Cronje, his whole career was tarnished, and his name would be forever linked to the match fixing scandal.

In 2002, Cronje died tragically in a plane crash. It's unfortunate that such a talented cricketer will only be remembered for his match fixing, rather than his batting.

1. Mike Tyson - (ear nibbling)

We all remember the day Tyson took a chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear - it's one of the most infamous moments in sporting history.

It was the second fight between the two heavyweights, but it wasn't destined to last long. At the end of the third round the referee stopped the fight due to the bitten ear, which Tyson claimed was in defence of Holyfield's head butting. Nice try, Tyson, but we all remember you were getting beaten - and biting Holyfield's ear was your way out of the fight.

Tyson's boxing license was revoked - only to be reinstated one year later.

Fortunately for Tyson, his name couldn't get anymore tarnished - his whole career reads like a 'most infamous moments' list.

Article from the Sports Fan Attic.


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