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By Dan Parzych

Deflate-gate And 15 Times Pro Sports Teams Have Been Caught Cheating

New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady - Press Conference
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Cheating will always be around in professional sports. There is too much to be gained, and the punishments aren't nearly harsh enough to scare cheaters into stopping. Deflate-gate is just the latest of many scandals in professional sports' dirty past.

15. Spygate

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick Press Conference
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15. Spygate

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick Press Conference
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In 2007, the New England Patriots were caught videotaping defensive signals from the New York Jets' sideline. There are other allegations involved with Spygate, including recording opponents' practices as far back as the 2001 season. Though the incident with the Jets was the only one for which the Pats received discipline. Belichick was fined \$500,000, and the team was fined \$250,000 -- plus docked the No. 31 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

14. More Spying From The Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
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14. More Spying From The Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
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Three years later in 2010, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels was fined \$50,000 for an incident in which a San Francisco 49ers practice was filmed prior to a game in London. Videographer Steve Scarnecchia claimed he acted alone. He was let go by the team. Both McDaniels and Scarnecchia worked under Belichick during the Spygate scandal.

13. 2011 Turkish Football Scandal

Manchester City v Besiktas Istanbul - Preseason Friendly
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13. 2011 Turkish Football Scandal

Manchester City v Besiktas Istanbul - Preseason Friendly
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This scandal was so big, it has yet to be settled entirely. In July of 2011, 61 people were arrested amidst a Turkish police investigation involving two professional football associations. The scandal involved match-fixing, bribery, organized crime and intimidation. Several people were convicted, but all are currently under retrial.

12. Crashgate

Singapore Formula One Grand Prix: Race
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12. Crashgate

Singapore Formula One Grand Prix: Race
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At the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, the Renault F1 team ordered driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to deliberately crash his vehicle to help his Renault teammate Fernando Alfonso gain an edge. The crash resulted in a safety car deployment that allowed Alfonso to make a needed pit stop. The team was disqualified and suspended for two years, along with longer bans for those who ordered the crash.

11. Joe Niekro's Emery Board

MLB Photos Archive
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11. Joe Niekro's Emery Board

MLB Photos Archive
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Niekro is hardly the only MLB pitcher to doctor the ball for an advantage, but his incident was definitely the funniest. He slyly tried to pull the emery board out of his back pocket and toss it before the umpires surrounding him could find it. The clip is a mainstay for blooper reels. Niekro was suspended for 10 games.

10. New York Knicks Fixing Games For Fix

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics
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10. New York Knicks Fixing Games For Fix

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics
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In the 1981-82 NBA season, the FBI investigated the Knicks for throwing games as a favor for their drug dealer. According to FBI moles, several Knicks players had a taste for cocaine. The investigation suggested players let their drug dealer know when to put up his five-figure bets, of which he won six of seven. Informants also alleged that Knicks players bet against themselves. Due to a lack of physical evidence, nobody was convicted.

9. Italian Football Scandal

Italian Football Federation Match Fixing Verdict
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9. Italian Football Scandal

Italian Football Federation Match Fixing Verdict
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In 2006, Italian police uncovered an inappropriate relationships between managers and referees that involved five of Italy's top football clubs. All were accused of rigging matches with the help of referees. Juventus, Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina were all punished in the scandal with various point deductions.

8. 1951 New York Giants Sign-Stealing Controversy

MLB Photos Archive
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8. 1951 New York Giants Sign-Stealing Controversy

MLB Photos Archive
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Sign-stealing is not technically illegal in baseball, though most agree it's a dirty practice. Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" allegedly came after he was informed a fastball was on the way. Several of the 1951 Giants have admitted that the team used a telescope from center field and a buzzer to relay signs to hitters for the second half of the season. The Giants finished the 1951 season on a 37-7 run.

7. Mike Tomlin's 'Accidental' Interference

Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers
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7. Mike Tomlin's 'Accidental' Interference

Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers
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In 2013, Tomlin wandered to the edge of the sideline and stepped onto the field to interfere with Jacoby Jones' punt return. What coach wanders to the edge of the sideline with their back to the play? I think Tomlin knew nobody would believe he's dumb enough to interfere in plain sight the way he did, so it would look like he was just being an idiot. I'm not buying it, and neither did the NFL. He was fined \$100,000.

6. Nigerian Football Scandal

2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony
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6. Nigerian Football Scandal

2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony
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In 2013, two teams trying to break into the lowest division of professional Nigerian football needed a little help with score differential. This prompted one game that finished with a score of 79-0, and another with a tally of 67-0. Somehow these games didn't fly under the radar as planned. The four clubs involved were banned for 10 years.

5. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings Game 6 Fix

Game 3: Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
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5. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings Game 6 Fix

Game 3: Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
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Technically the Lakers didn't cheat, but the referees conspired to help get them a Game 7. The word 'allegedly' is used a lot concerning this game, but those who watched with an unbiased eye know the truth. The referees worked hard to give it to LA. Though the source is hardly credible, dirtbag referee Tim Donaghy claims two refs who act in the interest of the NBA conspired to force a Game 7 for the sake of ticket sales and television ratings.

4. Steroids, Steroids And More Steroids

Mark McGwire #25
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4. Steroids, Steroids And More Steroids

Mark McGwire #25
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Sadly, there are too many baseball players to name that have cheated with PEDs, and it will never end. Along with an enhanced performance comes enhanced contracts. Using these drugs actually makes financial sense because of the MLB's weak penalties. Why not risk losing less than a third of a season for a much bigger payday? It's not any better in the NFL. Players get a four-game suspension for their first offense.

3. New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
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3. New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
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From 2009 to 2011, defensive coordinator Greg Williams headed a bounty program that paid Saints players for injuring opponents. Players were payed \$1,000 for cart-offs among other rewards for big hits. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season. Williams was suspended indefinitely after 2011, and reinstated in 2013. The team was fined \$500,000, and lost two second-round draft picks.

2. The Black Sox Scandal

Sotheby's To Auction Joe DiMaggio's 1936 Yankees Uniform
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2. The Black Sox Scandal

Sotheby's To Auction Joe DiMaggio's 1936 Yankees Uniform
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In the 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds, eight players from the White Sox were accused of throwing the series for money. The biggest name involved was 'Shoeless" Joe Jackson. His involvement was controversial, as he initially admitted to receiving \$5,000 from gamblers, then denied involvement until his death. He played very well in the series, hitting .375 with one home run.

1. Lance Armstrong's Doping Scandal

Le Tour 2010 - Stage Four
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1. Lance Armstrong's Doping Scandal

Le Tour 2010 - Stage Four
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In 2012, the USADA banned Armstrong for life, and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles for several incidents surrounding his sophisticated doping program. Former teammates of Armstrong's alleged intimidation and threats in an effort to get them involved in the doping program with him. After years of adamant denial, Armstrong finally admitted to doping in a 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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