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Top 20 Sports Cover Ups That Will Leave You Speechless

When somebody extols that “winning is everything” in the sporting arena, perhaps these dark secrets will give them pause. The desire to succeed in pro sports is accentuated by the press, by the multi-million dollar contracts and personal drive that elevates these athletes and officials to make the top level. But making an omelette requires cracking a few eggs and individuals will easily cross the line if a scandal can be hidden and their reputation remain in tact.

Reflecting on the disturbing history of sports cover ups, it’s disparaging to think the games that give millions of people around the world joy are eaten up and spat out by the naïve, the greedy and the downright evil people in society. Whether it is through neglected cases of sexual abuse, drug taking, throwing games, back-door dealings or murder, corruption can begin with one poor decision or lack of oversight.

No game has a squeaky-clean history when it comes to cover ups. Boxing, baseball, football, basketball, golf, tennis – every one of the them have skeletons in their closet that have either come out, are coming out or will be in the near future. Sports like athletics, soccer and cricket are touching the tip of the iceberg right now, with experts predicting a wave of new scandals to be revealed in the coming years.

These athletes and organizations who have disgraced themselves never considered how much the risk outweighed the reward. Lance Armstrong overcame cancer and raised millions to battle the disease, yet all anyone will remember is the cheating. Tiger Woods took golf to new heights, but most will immediately recall the scandal that engulfed his impressive career.

During the lifecycle of every scandal, a cover up ensued. This was before the press went digging for the information and before the public knew it to be true. These are the top 20 sports cover ups.

20 Maria Sharapova Drug Tests

via skysports.com

19 The 1919 World Series

via en.wikipedia.org

18 Tim Donaghy NBA Betting Scandal

via nydailynews.com

17 Penn State

via abcnews.go.com

16 Sandman Horse Murders

via horseandhound.co.uk

15 Essendon Supplements Saga

via theage.com.au

14 1999 Boxing Racketeering

via boxingsociety.com

13 Marion Jones Doping

via ladepeche.fr

12 Pakistani Cricket Spot-Fixing

via espncricinfo.com

11 Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Ring 

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

10 Tiger Woods’ Extramarital Affairs

via thespish.com

9 Michael Schumacher’s Crashes

via formula1.com

8 Bountygate

via espn.go.com

7 Russian Soccer’s Racism Epidemic

via edition.cnn.com

6 Ponygate

via themajors.net

5 Calciopoli

via radiogoal24.it

4 Lance Armstrong

via youtube.com

3 FIFA Corruption

via money.cnn.com

2 DeflateGate

via breitbart.com

1 Hillsborough

via mirror.co.uk

Many of these cover ups have involved cheating spouses, drugs or footballs that aren’t as heavy as they should be. But the Hillsborough cover up is of unspeakably horrendous and epic proportions that is hard to put into words. In 1989, Liverpool were playing Nottingham Forest in the semi final of the FA Cup away at the neutral territory of Sheffield Wednesday’s home ground, Hillsborough. But 96 Liverpool fans never came home. They were all crushed to death when stadium officials and police failed to plan for the influx of supporters that flooded into one end without any control measures put in place. With rows of dead patrons bagged in an adjacent school across the road, the authorities and government created a narrative that Liverpool fans were ultimately culpable for the deaths. The incredible ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the tragedy and cover up will leave viewers in tears and outraged beyond belief, outlining how victims families have had to fight for decades in the courts to clear the names of their dearly departed. A heartbreaking the tale the likes sport has never seen, nor never wishes to see again.

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Top 20 Sports Cover Ups That Will Leave You Speechless