The biggest cheating scandals in sports history

From stealing signs to performance-enhancing drugs, here are five of the major sports scandals of all time.

5 Controversial scandals

Houston Astros sign stealing scandal

In 2019 it was revealed that the Astros were stealing signals from opposing teams using video cameras in centerfield. The Astros were fined $5 million — the MLB’s maximum. Dusty Baker was recently hired as the Astro’s new manager. He replaced previous coaches, A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow, who were fired. As a result of the scandal, thee Astro’s 2017 World Series title has been tainted.

Lance Armstrong's doping

Once cycling’s most decorated champion, Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during a January 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey. The media began to perceive him as someone who expected to get whatever he wanted and to control every outcome because of his success. He denied these claims but was left responsible to rebuild his reputation. He was stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles and forced to pay millions to the companies that promoted him.


In 2015, an investigation stating that the New England Patriots had been intentionally deflating footballs below the NFL-required gauge pressure began. The investigation was not resolved until the summer of 2016. After various court rulings, press conferences, and narratives, quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for 4 games and the Patriots were fined $1 million. The timing of the scandal was extremely unfortunate given that the Patriots were scheduled to play in another Super Bowl days before news of the controversy broke.

Marion Jones

After the track and field star won 3 gold and 2 bronze medals during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Jones admitted to steroid use as part of a scandal that implicated over 20 professional athletes.


In 2007, the New England Patriots were found videotaping coaches from the New York Jets. The NFL fined head coach Bill Bellichick $500,000 — the largest fine ever placed on a single coach. The Patriots were also fined $250,000 and docked a first-round draft pick.