The biggest sports betting scandals in history

Commercial Content | 21+ | T&Cs Apply

Despite all the established security measures and efforts by sporting institutions to regulate proper conduct at sporting events, there is always the risk of rigging the result.

Sports betting scandals have been and still continue to plague the sportsmanship of some most popular sports in the world.

Once fraud investigators begin an enquiry into a possible suspect the culprit normally pays for his wrongdoings through prison time, a hefty fine, a lifetime ban from the sport, or even all three. A sports betting scandal can taint a sporting hero's reputation and bring shame upon the sport world.

Continue reading to discover some of the biggest sports betting scandals in history.

The Black Sox Scandal

New York Times Paper Arguably one the oldest and greatest betting scandal of all time.

Eight Major League Baseball players from the Chicago White Sox, which were later renamed the Black Sox, were busted after being paid a total of $100,000 to lose World Series games in 1919.

They were one of  baseball’s best teams, but they were paid far less than players on other teams.  First baseman Chick Gandil organized a group of six other players to conspire with professional gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series.

Investigators uncovered the plot and the eight were banned from baseball for life.

Tim Donaghy and the NFL

NBA RefereeVeteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison for making calls that would affect the points of the game.  In 2007 the FBI discovered the referee had bet on games in which he had officiated in and made calls in favor of the team he wagered on.

The FBI revealed Donaghy had bet tens of thousands of dollars on games during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 season and Donaghy pleaded guilty to two federal charges in 2007.

Nelson Piquet Crash

At the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix in September 2008, the Renault team ordered driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to intentionally crash his car, which gave teammate Fernando Alonso the victory.

The Renault team’s crime was not an act of cheating as mere deception and dishonesty. Furthermore, it was a potentially lethal act as it could have been considered as a potential murder.

Watch a video of the infamous crash below!

Boston College Football Scandal

Dan Henning, was the coach of Boston College football team in 1996. Henning heard rumours that some of his player had bet against the team to lose to Syracuse but decided to wait until after the match to say anything.

The score? Syracuse trashed Boston 45-17

He immediately contacted the officials and 13 players were suspended and six were banned indefinitely. As for Henning, he resigned after that disastrous season without his best players.

The 1951 Point Shaving scandal

Basketball Bribery ScandalThe 1951 point shaving scandal is one of the biggest basketball scandals in college basketball history.

The scandal happened between 1947 to 1951. In this short time, 35 active and former college players were accused of fixing games and at least 86 known games were fixed including a shocking win for City College of New York basket ball team in both the NIT and NCAA tournaments.

The following year news broke of the team organizing a massive point-shaving scandal with New York mobsters. The scandal included four New York-area schools plus Toledo, Bradley and Kentucky, all of whom had players manipulating the score during games.

In all, 32 players were arrested and charged for fixing the 86 games between 1947 and 1950.

Pete Rose and the Reds

Pete Rose Time magazinePete Rose was once one of the most talented and famous baseball coaches players in America. After he retired in 1986 an MLB investigation determined that, as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, Rose had gambled on baseball games during the 1985, ’86 and ’87 seasons.

The same year Rose received a lifetime ban and removed from the baseball Hall of Fame, even though Rose denied gambling on baseball.

He continued to deny it and  frequently pleaded to be re-admitted and inducted into the Hall of Fame until 2004.

In 2004, he finally admitted to gambling on baseball and in 2007, he admitted to betting on the Reds “every night.”

Damien Oliver's Horse Racing Scandal

Damien Oliver jockeyHorse racing has a reputation to be a grubby and corrupt sport due fair share of scandals throughout history.

However, one of the most recent scandals has sullied the sport even more. Australian horse jokey Damien Oliver was revealed to have placed a $10,000 bet on a horse riding against his own mount, Miss Octopussy, in late 2010.

Oliver was only banned for 10 months but the significant of the scandal proves that even in today's world the temptation of fixing races and events is still rife.


If you enjoyed this article, check out 12 incredible triple crown horses to discover

21+ Play Responsibly National Council on Problem Gambling