Published On: Jun 05 2013 01:38:47 PM CDTUpdated On: Jul 15 2016 02:36:45 PM CDT
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was "at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities" of a locker room attendant and an equipment assistant in the controversy known as "Deflategate," according to an NFL report released May 6, 2015. The report found "that it is more probable than not that" the locker-room attendant and equipment assistant "participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee" during January's AFC title game between the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. Five days later the league hit Brady with a four-game suspension while also announcing that Patriots will forfeit a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017. New England was also hit with a $1 million fine. Brady and the NFLPA fought the decision to the federal appeals court level but Brady announced in July 2016 he would drop his appeal and serve the suspension to start the 2016 NFL season.
On June 17, 2016, the the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF, upheld its ban on Russian track and field athletes competing on the global stage over the country's lack of anti-doping efforts. The decision came following a 2015 report that detailed allegations of a "deeply rooted culture of cheating at all levels" in Russian athletics. While the ban on the Russian track and field team was also backed by the International Olympic Committee, some individual Russian athletes could still be cleared to compete in the Rio Games.
The Baltimore Ravens cut running back Ray Rice after graphic video surfaced of him punching his former fiancee in an elevator in 2014. He had been indefinitely suspended from the NFL but was since reinstated and can now sign with any NFL team.
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty on April 15, 2015 of first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition in the 2013 shooting death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. He also faces two first-degree murder charges stemming from a double homicide in Boston in 2012.
Donald Sterling: In April 2014, then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Sterling was suspended from the NBA for life and fined the maximum $2.5 million after a league investigation determined racist comments on a recording were indeed made by Sterling. Sterling was also forced to sell the team.
Alex Rodriguez: New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball was suspended for the entire 2014 season for his use of performance-enhancing drugs and for allegedly coercing a witness in MLB's drug investigation.
Lance Armstrong: In June 2012, the seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor was accused of doping and stripped of his many titles. In January 2013, after years of denials, he admitted to taking banned substances in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
O.J. Simpson: While the Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL star was acquitted of double murder during the most publicized trial of all time, Simpson now sits in prison convicted of robbery.
Pete Rose: In 2004, the former Cincinnati Reds player and manager admitted to betting on baseball games after years of accusations. Rose was ruled ineligible for the Hall of Fame in 1989 due to the accusations.
Tiger Woods: 2009 saw a series of events -- including a car accident, more than a dozen mistresses, divorce and therapy -- derail his career and personal life. Several years later Woods is still trying to recapture his golf greatness.
Barry Bonds: Baseball’s steroid era and the Mitchell Report gave us hulking players (Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds) who easily shattered Roger Maris’ and Hank Aaron’s home run records. For Bonds, allegations of steroid use have overshadowed his records, which include the single-season and career home run records.
Soviet Union basketball win over the United States in 1972 Olympics: The U.S. men's basketball team had won every single game between 1936 and the 1972 final. Had it not been for a referee adding three seconds back on the clock, the U.S. would have beaten Russia in this game as well. To date, the U.S. team has refused to accept the silver medal from the '72 Games.
Tonya Harding: A champion figure skater in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Harding is best remembered for the cover-up of an attack orchestrated by her ex-husband and bodyguard on competitor Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. She has had several minor run-ins with the law since then, and has also dabbled in boxing.
Penn State sex abuse: One of college football's most celebrated programs and coaches failed to report and likely covered up allegations of child molestation against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Coach Joe Paterno has since passed, Sandusky is in prison and the NCAA has imposed sanctions on Penn State including an unprecedented $60 million fine and the voiding of all of the football team's victories over its previous 14 seasons.
New Orleans Saints bounty program: "Bountygate" was a fund that rewarded Saints players with financial bonuses for inflicting injuries on opposing players that forced them to leave games. Following an NFL investigation, the Saints played their 2012 season without their head coach Sean Payton, defensive coordinator and key players, who were all suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell.
1918 Chicago Black Sox: In response to notoriously cheap team owner, Charles Comiskey, who leveraged loopholes in contracts and MLB laws to prevent playing his star players, eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox were banned from baseball for life for taking money from underworld figures to intentionally lose games, including the 1919 World Series.
Southern Methodist University football scandal: Southern Methodist University’s entire 1987 schedule was canceled due to massive violations of NCAA rules and regulations including slush funds and illegal payments to athletes for over a decade. Following the death penalty, the SMU Mustangs had only one winning season over the next 20 years.
Michael Vick: In 2007, the NFL star was sentenced to 23 months in prison after pleading guilty to a dogfighting conspiracy charge. The former No. 1 draft pick filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and in 2009, the Atlanta Falcons cut ties with him. Since then, however, Vick has made a comeback with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Click here to read more about the biggest sports scandals of all time.
To read about shocking college sports scandals, click here.