The sanctity of sport has often been blemished by a number of people who have never taken the phrase “in the spirit of sportsmanship” very seriously. It has also been mired by controversial, and at times unfair, decisions that have left fans either frustrated or furious (or even both) at the audacity of a select few who put personal gain above anything else.
Keeping these two factors in mind, here is a compilation of the ten biggest scandals in sports history.
Match fixing rears its ugly head in cricket, 2000
What was a gentleman’s game until the turn of the millennium, lost its innocence when the then well respected South African captain Hansie Cronje admitted to being involved in match fixing with Indian book makers when the Proteas toured India. Things seemed amiss when Cronje made Derek Crookes, a part time off spinner, open the bowling in an ODI at Nagpur.
The Delhi police cracked the case when they recorded a phone conversation between Cronje and a bookie named Sanjay Chawla from a betting syndicate. At first, Cronje had denied the allegations, but later admitted to accepting more than $10,000 from bookies in London. South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs also came out and said that Cronje had offered him money to score less than 20 runs, something he eventually did not go through with.
Cronje was banned from playing or coaching in international cricket for life. But 2 years after the controversy, Cronje died in a plane crash in the Outeniqua Mountains in South Africa. Although investigations revealed that the crash was a consequence of pilot error and low visibility, there have been many conspiracy theories stating that the betting syndicate had had him murdered.