A sports discipline is synonymous with healthy and fair competition. However, what happens when unfair practices are used to gain advantage? .
We tell you the athletes who have carried out unfair practices in order to win. / Photo: David Madison
LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla
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Leer en español: Los deportistas más tramposos de la historia
Sports competitions begin, little by little, to return to normal in this pandemic, although with sanitary measures. The desire on the part of athletes and the fall of the industry created a need in the sector, so it is important that athletes are prepared to return to their activities after lockdown.
However, not all athletes use conventional methods to compete. For example, recently the Diario Concepción website highlighted that Kenya "accumulates 66 athletes suspended for doping", which lowers the credibility of the country in different competitions.
Something similar happens with the "cheaters" of video games, eSports being one of the most recent and popular disciplines. The Marca website highlights that, for example, we have already naturalized many of the unfair practices in some shooting video games, such as Counter-Strike or Valorant. So, let's look at the cases of the most cheating athletes in history.
We will start by talking about, according to the website of La República, the “most famous cheat in the history of athletics”. Basically, on April 21, 1980, an almost unknown athlete surprised everyone by winning the Boston Marathon in record time.
The woman, a native of Cuba and with almost no athletic background, won the gold medal in one of the most famous races in the world. The recorded time was 2:31:56, being the fastest in history in that contest. How did she do it? Through a fraud, since she returned to the race with a few meters to go, after using public transport to cut ahead.
Here we have another cheat, but a much more dangerous one. The Infobae medium describes the fight between Luis Resto vs. Billy Collins Jr at Madison Square Garden as the "most sinister in history." It happened on June 16, 1983, a date considered the blackest chapter in boxing history. The promising 21-year-old Billy Collins Jr was up against Puerto Rican veteran Luis Resto.
However, after that fight, neither stepped into a ring again. What happened? Well, it was a really dirty fight. This event scared everyone, because Billy Collins Jr arrived in the tenth round with a deformed face, losing the fight on points to Resto ... although later the referees realized that Resto had removed the padding on his gloves.
We move to the fencing field. In this case, we are talking, according to Digital Freedom, about one of the biggest cheats in sport, who was also an icon of the USSR. Boris Onischenko was considered an eminence, managing to be decorated with the Order of the Red Banner of Labor ... until they discovered his tricks.
At the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, at the age of 38, he entered the event as a renowned competitor within the pentathlon. When it came to fencing, they realized that in his fight against Jim Fox he had not hit him with the sword, but the light in his suit was still turning on. His trick? A wiring system that involved a button, where Onischenko activated a device to register hits at his opponent without touching him. This led to his expulsion from the Soviet Modern Pentathlon Federation.
Finally, we have the story of this woman, who, according to the BBC, can be considered the “villain of ice skating in the United States”. On January 6, 1994, Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding's competitor, had been attacked after a training routine and it was believed that she would not be able to compete in the Olympic Games that year in Lillehammer, Norway.
Her injuries were not serious, but the episode was investigated. It turns out that Kerrigan's rival had been attacked by Tonya Hardin's husband and her bodyguard, all using a metal cane. That is, they had shared the same training session, where they tried to hurt her so that she was out of the contest. Thus, we see that there are many ways to try to achieve victory, although cheating should never be one of them.