Gold Cup Disqualification Brings Look at Top Sports “Cheats” of All-Time
Because it was in the 'Super Bowl' of hydro racing, the Gold Cup, Jean Theoret's disqualification in the HAPO Gold Cup Sunday made us think of other famous athletes or teams who thought they'd won the "big one" only to lose it because of errors or cheating. The O-Boy Oberto, the defending H1 national champion driven this year by Jimmy Shane, was awarded the win. Theoret was accused of cutting through was H1 officials call the "DMZ," or a restricted area on the course in order to try to gain an advantage on the start of the Gold Cup final race.
- According to Reuter's News Service, some of the greatest disqualifications in sports history include:
- 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson ran an improbable time in the 100 meters to win the gold, but was stripped after testing positive for PED's (performance enhancing drugs). His levels were so shocking it was considered one of the most blatant examples of cheating in track and field (and sports) history.
- The 1919 Chicago White Sox. Players were found guilty of accepting money to throw, or purposely lose, the World Series to Cincinnati. Their actions would become the basis for a famous movie about the incident.
- Mike Tyson. The boxer was disqualified from his famous bout with Evander Holyfield after biting off a chunk of Holyfield's ear.
- Who remembers Rosie Ruiz? In 1980, the Cuban distance runner won the Boston Marathon in a near-record time, but later officials found that she had sneaked onto the course near the finish line after having hidden herself in the crowd. She had indeed registered for the race, but after an investigation it was learned she never left the starting line. She was stripped of her title and faded into obscurity and shame after having made it into Sports Illustrated magazine.
Fox Sports also has a list that includes Barry Bonds (baseball-drugs), the Chinese women's gymnastics program (2008 Olympics-underage gymnasts), the 1976 East German swim team (steroids), and Bill Belichick with Spygate against the New York Jets.
And, who could forget Jackie Robinson West, the Little League team that represented the Chicago, Illinois area? In February of this year, they were stripped of their title after an investigation showed they had illegally used players from districts outside their own. The District manager, coaches of team and others were stripped of their positions when officials learned Robinson had recruited the top players from surrounding districts and regions to form a "super team" that cruised to the title.
Former MLB All-Stat pitcher Mark Mulder was quoted as saying the team had always been suspected of cheating, even when he was playing against them 25 years ago. Rival Evergreen Park officials, who blew the whistle on JRW, said there'd been rumors of cheating for years, but they finally got the actual proof in 2014 and 2015 to prove it.