“Cheating is bad and it never pays off,” it seems. Yes, but sometimes it leaves a small not disgusting tip on the corner of the table before leaving. There is cheating in all sports, in all aspects of life itself, and sometimes it works very well.
1. Diego Maradona against England
It’s hard to say that Diego Maradona cheated that day. In general, we prefer to speak of divine intervention or magic of the moment. But in reality, as we know, El Pibe de oro cheated his world by putting his hand against England. He surely did it to prove to us that there could be beauty in the ignoble. But he did it anyway. His team, his personal legend, his country and the world of football have benefited. The epitome of cheating that pays.
2. LA Lakers against the Sacramento Kings
This is the story of the earthen pot against the iron pot. From the poor against the powerful. From the small town, its small market and its small players against the enormous megalopolis, its hypermarket and its superstars. In 2002 when the Kings were about to eliminate the Lakers from Kobe and Shaq, it was the NBA itself that intervened with the referees to reverse the trend and ensure a big audience for the Finals. Expected by the players and the public, confirmed by certain referees and observers, fraudulent arbitration is no longer really a matter of debate. Except among a few Lakers fans, perhaps.
3. Lance Armstrong in front of the whole world
7 Tour de France, 1 World Championship, 72 pounds to say he was clean, 2 to apologize, 1 film to bail out and nearly 150 Million Euros on the scale, Lance Armstrong is the story of an industrial cheat. Of course, he ended up being bullied, but he still managed to build his whole life on a lie. Intravenous kerosene, miles ahead and a few thousand little yellow bracelets.
4. New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts
“Deflategate”. It refers to the earthquake caused by the revelations of cheating characterized by the New England Patriots during the 2015 conference final. In question: deflated balloons – 11 out of 12 – which favor grip. Result: A landslide victory for Tom Brady’s team, a qualification for the Superbowl and an NFL championship title a few days later. Ah yes, note that in US football, each team attacks with its own balls.
5. Rafael Nadal against Stan Wawrinka
14 grand slams, 1 cowboy left and 17 lungs, it was long believed that Rafa Nadal was an alien. In reality, it would only be a finer cheat than the others. In any case, that’s what Wawrinka says. According to him, Rafa’s coach shouts a code before the important points to indicate to his colt which way to hit the ball. The eyes and the legs. The brain and the arms. Problem, in tennis, it is forbidden to communicate with your coach. And when asked why the referee does nothing, he replies: “Because it’s Rafa'”
6. Ali Dia facing his CV
In life there are 2 categories of people. Those who don’t lie on their CV and those who get the job. English, Spanish, Italian: fluent. German, Chinese, Albanian: fluent. Excel, Photoshop, Illustrator: mastered. This is the basis of the lie. But there are also all the little fantasies that go with it. Those that make us say that we love auteur films and reading. Photography and human relations. Ali Dia has elevated the lie on CV to the rank of a work of art. Player of the 8th English division, he calls Southampton and pretends to be George Weah. “My cousin is looking for a club, he is a very good player. He played here. He played there. Take it !” he said. Southampton no longer have a valid player so they take him. 2 days later, he even finds himself playing 53 minutes in the Premier League after Le Tissier’s injury. Ali Dia and the 40 mythos or when cheating only benefits you.
7. Thomas Daley facing the flashes
In the 10m diving final of the London Olympics, Thomas Dailey, 18, asks to jump again. He was blinded by the flashes of cameras during his previous dish and uses a rule never used at this level of competition. The referee gives him a second chance. He seizes it with the digger. An almost perfect jump and 15 more points on his score allow him to grab an unexpected bronze medal. The caption says that that day there was no camera in the pool.
8. Spain Handisport facing decency
In 2000, Spain achieved the best Paralympic Games in its history, finishing 3rd behind Australia and Great Britain with 107 medals. Only here, many of their athletes would have simulated their handicap. Including 10 of the 12 players of the intellectually disabled basketball team. Gold medal withdrawn and proven scandal for basketball players. For the others, the suspicions and the 106 medals remain.
9. Ben Johnson versus Carl Lewis
At a slow trot, one deltoid after another and 10m ahead of the others, Ben Johnson crossed the finish line raising his arm. 9.79. World record, Olympic gold and downcast gaze on Carl Lewis’ ganache in the background. He seeks to understand the lightning but he does not understand. The explanation is however simple: stanozolol – word counts triple and steroids – but for the moment Ben Johnson is jubilant. Not long, just time to get fried. “But how good it was! he still says to himself today.
10. Antonio Margarito against Shane Mosley
Rigging his gloves in boxing, the ruse is as old as the world. But as it is often in old pots that the best vegetables are made, Antonio Margarito used it to defeat his opponents. Once at least according to the police. Throughout his career according to the guys he beat up. Plaster strips under the leather, 38 wins, 27 knockouts and many, many dodges.
11. Clock Face Cramps
You lead in the score, there are 5 minutes left to play, you roll on the ground to gain some time. Any U-9 knows that. So easy that it’s no longer cheating but common sense. Everyone does it. Everyone except the PSG players on the Catalan lawn. 3-1. 4-1. 5-1. 6-1. And not the start of a cramp. Sad to be so honest.
12. The Marathon Cheaters
42 km is too long and I too would be too lazy to run them… but the prestige of arriving at the head of a marathon has sometimes pushed certain athletes to attempt mind-blowing tricks. Who hasn’t said to themselves one day “just take the metro to win a marathon, everyone will see nothing but fire”? Well the pioneer of that is the runner Fred Lors who in 1904 during the St Louis Olympic marathon in the United States did 17 km by car (not the metro but just like). We will discover his cheating much later.
Same thing a few years later, in 1979 when the American Rosie Ruiz participated in her first marathon in New York and after 30 minutes of running she took the subway and finished at number 11 because of this emblematic race. A few months later she decides to cheat once again at the Boston Marathon, quietly waiting for the end of the race in a hotel room near the finish. Inevitably she “beats” the world record and people are starting to get interested in going: that’s where the joke ends, she got caught and decided to stop running.
13. Too young but still champion
At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the Chinese He Kexin was crowned Olympic team and solo champion on the uneven bars. Except that a controversy explodes because doubts about the age of the young Chinese are beginning to emerge (14 years old instead of 16 years old minimum). It is later discovered that He Kexin was indeed 14 years old, but his medals will not be taken away from him. At the same time, why condemn a prodigy?
14. Finally, a cheat that didn’t work too well
Sylvester Carmouche’s race will go down in the annals of cheating. He had been cheered by everyone for his victory until we caught on to what was happening.
It was during a race (a horse race I specify) at the Delta Downs racecourse in 1990, poor Sylvester Carmouche was dropped in the race and so he just decided to stop, to let a lap and take the lead in the race, not stupid. For a while no one saw anything, but with the videos, everyone quickly understood. It will be forbidden to compete for 10 years for that, not such a good idea after all.