Barry Bonds via ESPN YouTube, screenshot

Ah, sports! A representation of human resilience, spirit, and the age-old hunger for triumph. Yet, there’s a side to sports that occasionally tarnishes its image – cheating. Here, we delve into five such personalities who, for varied reasons, opted to play outside the rules.

Diego Maradona

While undoubtedly one of soccer’s greatest, Maradona is infamous for his “Hand of God” goal during the 1986 World Cup, where he used his hand to score a goal against England. The famous name comes from Maradona’s explanation of the illicit goal: “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”

Despite the controversies, Maradona enjoyed a coaching career after retiring as a player. He notably managed the Argentina national team and several clubs worldwide. Unfortunately, he passed away in November 2020.

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Ben Johnson

The 1988 Seoul Olympics 100m final is unforgettable because of Johnson. He smashed a world record but was stripped of his gold medal three days later for testing positive for stanozolol, a banned substance.

Post the doping scandal, Johnson attempted several comebacks. He later transitioned to coaching and opened the Ben Johnson Foundation to help children and athletes.

Barry Bonds

MLB’s home run king, Bonds’ legacy is tainted by allegations of steroid use. He was convicted for obstruction of justice in relation to the BALCO scandal but was never officially suspended by the MLB for PEDs.

Bonds returned to the San Francisco Giants in 2017 as a special advisor to the CEO. In 2021, he started investing in professional women’s sports.

Barry Bonds via KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco
YouTube, screenshot

Ryan Braun

Another MLB star, the 2011 National League MVP faced a 65-game suspension in 2013 for his connections to the Biogenesis doping scandal.

The “Hebrew Hammer” continued to play for the Milwaukee Brewers until announcing his retirement in 2021, ending a 14-year MLB career.

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Rosie Ruiz

In the 1980 Boston Marathon, Ruiz stunned everyone by winning the women’s race. It was later discovered she hadn’t run the entire race, instead joining just before the finish line.

Ruiz kept a relatively low profile post-scandal. Before passing away in 2019, she worked in various industries, including real estate.

While cheating might offer short-lived success, the legacy it leaves behind is one of deception and mistrust. These incidents remind us of the importance of sportsmanship and playing by the rules.

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