Sports are often viewed as an extension of the rest of the world.
Sure, there are only a handful of individuals talented enough to compete at the highest level. Regardless, nearly all of the problems of the real world seem to intersect the world of sports in at least some way.
%shareLinks-quote="Greed. Criminality. Injustice. The list goes on and on. The human nature of the athletes involved opens sports up to the constant possibility of controversy." type="spreadWord"%
Some scandals are driven by financial greed. Sometimes there are links to gambling or organized crime. Potentially both. In other instances, it involves collegiate athletes who accept money, despite knowing the serious punishments facing them, their teammates and the university if they are caught doing so.
Others emerge from poor decisions in an athlete's personal life. Whether these missteps lead to a criminal trial, a hefty financial settlement or merely persecution in the eyes of the public, these events almost always tarnish the reputation of the individual involved.
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And of course, when the stakes are high, there is always going to be someone looking for a competitive advantage. Sports is no exception, as individuals have resorted to performance-enhancing-drugs, espionage and occasionally violence in order to gain an edge over the competition.
While it is the tremendous athletic feats and team accomplishments that have shaped the passion of fans for countless years, the presence of controversy is always lurking in the shadows.
Here is a look at the 20 biggest scandals in the history of sports, and while this counts down they are in no particular order because we're trying to determine which awful scandal is more egregious than the other.
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