Great Sporting Lies
As the pressure to succeed in all forms of our sporting lives increases so the temptation to cheat or lie becomes too much for some individuals. I have listed a few of the more famous or, indeed, infamous examples below. In some cases it is obvious what the individuals had to gain, in others it’s a little less clear cut.
So, in no particular order.
The Russian Olympic Modern Pentathlete, Boris Onischenko, (alhough he wasn’t especially honest) who rigged up his fencing sword to register a successful hit at random times during his contests. Result; found out, thrown out and humiliated.
Diego Maradona and the Hand of God. Chubby little Diego somehow convinced the ref that he managed to outjump strapping Peter Shilton and nod the ball into the net for the opening goal of the World Cup semi-final when, as everyone else knew, he’d actually used his hand. Result; quite brilliant second goal, another World Cup win for Argentina, revenge for The Sun’s ‘Gotcha’ headline? No remorse
Ben Johnson winning the 1988 100m Olympic gold with a little help from his Swedish/Serbian friend, Anna Bolic Steroid. Result; found out, thrown out, humiliated.
My mate, Simon Pearson, who, during a school games lesson cross-country run, happened across his Nan in her car. She gave him a lift for two of the five miles and he won the race by about twenty minutes. Result; I think we had the last laugh really because he got himself selected for the school cross-country squad and ended up 72nd and last in the County Sports.
Quite a lot of skullduggery has been unearthed in cycling circles. A few years ago there was that chap who had a condom full of someone else’s urine strapped under his arm that he squeezed out when he was drug tested. There was poor old Marco Pantani and Tom Simpson and now we all wait to see what Lance will say to Oprah, but the biggest cycling lie happened right in our own back yard.
It appears that a cyclist of previous exemplary repute sent a text earlier today saying he couldn’t join us our regular club ride because he had ‘man-flu’. Well everyone on the ride was obviously concerned, in fact one new member was so upset that he could not continue past Bluestone. The conversation for the whole ride revolved around this one topic. One of the GP’s with us insisted we swing past his surgery so he could pick up the very latest antiviral to see if this would help our Beloved Chairman. Well, to cut a long story short, when we rolled through the gates of the Ludchurch Manor House and up to the imposing entrance, we found Lady and Viscount Rees at home but no sign of his Lordship. ‘Out on his bike’ we were told and with that we were given two minutes to get off the estate before she let the dogs out.
Devastated doesn’t really seem a strong enough term to describe the emotions of the assembled throng. Let’s just say that we all knew how that little boy felt, who, after the Chicago White Sox had been accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, shouted to Shoeless Jackson, ‘Say it ain’t so, Joe’. So we say to you, ‘How couldya, Butcher!’.