Pretty much every sport has a cheating scandal. At one point or another, one person or a group of people have tried (and sometimes succeeded) to game the system and get ahead of others. Sometimes it’s for money, sometimes it’s for glory, but one thing is always true: it’s unfair to those who play by the rules.
There are three cheating scandals unfolding right now in three different sports: chess, fishing, and poker, and they could each be the worst cheating scandal in the history of their individual sports.
The largest chess website, chess.com, announced on Tuesday that an internal investigation concluded that 19-year-old grand master Hans Niemann cheated in over 100 matches on their site.
At the Lake Erie Walleye Trail championships on the shores of Lake Erie on Saturday, Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyan were found to have loaded the bellies of their fish with weights so they could be named Team of the Year and win $30,000 in prizes.
In poker, wild allegations are being leveled over Robbi Jade Lew’s unthinkable $109,000 bluff call in what ended up being a $269,000 pot. Lew is being accused of cheating, and while she refunded the money she won, she has not at all admitted to cheating, and even accused the guy she won the money from of intimidating her in a dark hallway.
Fishing, chess, and poker are having their moments right now, but what are the biggest cheating scandals in other sports? Nearly every sport has a cheating scandal, and you can read about the worst ones right here.
Football: Spygate, courtesy of the Patriots
The NFL has had plenty of cheating scandals over the last 15-20 years, so there are a lot to choose from. Should it be Bountygate, which wasn’t so much cheating as it was dangerously enhanced incentivizing? Should it be Deflategate, which was an alleged effort to cheat at football using the actual on-field tools of the game? Or Spygate, the videotaping of another team’s signals?
In the end, Spygate was first, and is still the one discussed the most, complete with exaggerated gasping and pearl clutching. During the 2007 season, the New England Patriots videotaped the New York Jets defensive signals from their own sideline during a game, which commissioner Roger Goodell ruled as intentional cheating. Head coach Bill Belichick was fined, the team was fined, and they lost their first-round draft pick. All tapes and notes from those videotaped sessions were destroyed, which has left a lot more questions that will probably never be answered.