We all know that three Pakistani cricketers were sent to prison for spot-fixing a few years back ... but do we know that in 1919, a whole baseball team was found guilty of throwing matches they could have easily won. Tony Adams’ World Sporting Scandals clears many such assumptions that sports fans all over the world have and in the process, it tells many interesting stories that many people didn’t know of.
Be it the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, the Tiger Woods sex scandal, Ben Johnson’s fall from grace or Jim Thorpe’s mistake that cost him his medals, everything gets mentioned in this amazing collection of wrongdoings. The way the author has described these incidents speaks for itself as every incident gets categorized as The Background, The Scandal, and The Aftermath. In the Background, the readers get to know about the person or persons involved in the incident, the Scandal tells the readers about the incident and the Aftermath discusses what happened next to the individual(s) involved.
This book is worthy of a mystery book where Fine Cotton named horse get swapped, players like John Terry get accused of being racist and talented individuals like Basil D’Oliveira deliberately getting ignored because of the colour of their skin. The incidents may be memorable for some and reminiscent for others because while some might have happened in our lifetime, others had changed the face of the sports by accepting guilt and enabling the authorities to better their laws.
Many recent high-profile cases get mentioned in this book such as the disappearance of an NFL player who didn’t really exist or the incident involving two Greek athletes that didn’t even happen. There is also the mention of Shane Warne’s story about a diet pill that his mother provided and the figure skating vote of 2002 Olympics that showed the world that cheaters could exist in the jury.
Many sports enthusiasts may know about cases discussed in this collection, but without the background, the aftermath and the narrative. This book brings back those events and introduces them to new readers with more details than ever:
• In Bodyline Cricket series, bowlers deliberately attacked the body of the batsmen instead of the wicket
• American football star OJ Simpson got caught after a high-profile car chase; the reason of which was determined later
• Adolf Hitler was furious when an African American won a Gold medal at the 1938 Olympic Games held in Germany
• 96 people lost their lives in the Hillsborough Tragedy that occurred in a football stadium
• Andre Agassi came clean in his autobiography where he accepted taking drugs and wearing a wig
• A German soccer referee was put in jail after his colleagues found his activities suspicious
• Paralympics might be for the handicap but frauds occur there as normally as in Olympics
Some cases are quite interesting and might have gone unnoticed had the guilty person been a little lucky. Russian athlete Boris Oneschenko got disqualified for cheating during the fencing event in the 1976 Olympics. South African Cricketer Hansie Cronje was found guilty of match-fixing and died in a plane crash soon after. The winner of the 1904 Olympic Marathon got disqualified because he took a ride in a car during the race. There is a detailed discussion on the Pros and Cons of Kerry Packer’s Cricket Coup, the Chappell brother’s embarrassing Under Arm tactic, Ayrton Senna’s mysterious death and the incidents of injuring players including Tennis star Monica Seles.
We all know that sports authorities have become powerful in the last few years but that hasn’t stopped cheats from cheating, druggies from taking drugs and match-fixers from fixing matches. This book gives you an insight into the world of sports where things are not what they seem. If you want to know about the deaths of Bob Woolmer and Andres Escobar or learn what happened when Michael Jordan left Basketball for Baseball, this book has all the answers. Go ahead and get a copy and then challenge your friends with your newly acquired general knowledge.