Athletes Who Got Caught Telling Major Lies

You'd think that honesty would be kind of a key ingredient in sports. But time and again, athletes have proven this wrong by cheating and lying their way through life. And it's even encouraged to a degree, as evidenced by the old saying, "if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying." Still, there's a fine line between bending the rules to get a competitive advantage and outright lying. The difference? Well, some athletes are dumb enough to get caught. Here's a look at some of the losers who got caught telling major fibs.

Rafael Palmeiro

Rafael Palmeiro is one of only five players in Major League Baseball history to amass more than 500 home runs and 3,000 hits over the course of his career. Yet, he's not in the Hall of Fame, nor is he likely to get in any time soon. Why? Well, it's mostly because he's a notorious liar: while testifying before Congress about steroids, he wagged his finger in their collective faces and stridently asserted, "I have never used steroids, period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never." Six months later he was suspended for using steroids. If he does ever get into the Hall of Fame, hopefully the bust will be a statue of America facepalming.

Pete Rose

Pete Rose isn't just a liar, he's a bad liar. But at least he's persistent! For over 25 years he's been trying to wriggle out of accusations that he bet not just on baseball, but on his own team—proven accusations, mind you, that got him banned for life from baseball. Every time he concocts a new excuse, some evidence comes out to undermine him. Most recently, he once again attempted to get reinstated by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, only to fail yet again. Why? Well, Manfred said that Rose had not "presented credible evidence." You don't say.

Danny Almonte

Pitcher Danny Almonte took the 2001 Little League World Series by storm, throwing a perfect game en route to becoming a breakout media superstar. Fans couldn't believe that a 12-year-old kid could possibly throw as well and as hard as Almonte. And they were right, because Almonte was actually 14, two years older than Little League rules allowed. The team was forced to vacate their wins, though Almonte himself was actually cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation, as the kid didn't speak English and apparently didn't know he was violating the rules. His parents, on the other hand, were a different matter, as his father faced criminal charges for falsifying Danny's birth certificate.

Rosie Ruiz

Talk about being a brazen cheater. Rosie Ruiz seemingly came out of nowhere to shockingly win the women's title at the 1980 Boston Marathon. She didn't come out of nowhere, though—she came off the subway. Yep, she didn't even run the race, she just jogged out of the crowd at the finish line and somehow, nobody noticed. Amazingly, it wasn't even the first time she had done it; she only qualified to run in the Boston Marathon because she finished 11th in the New York Marathon the previous year, but it turned out she had taken the subway that day as well, instead of actually racing. Naturally, she was stripped of her title. And her dignity.

Tiger Woods

In 2009, rumors began swirling that Tiger Woods, one of the most famous athletes in the world, was cheating on his wife. Naturally, he denied this. He found it harder to lie about his infidelity, however, after a domestic incident left him with a smashed up car, numerous minor injuries, and a reputation in tatters. Turns out Woods had multiple mistresses, many of whom were happy to spill the beans once the cat was out of the bag. Woods eventually ended up making several public admissions of guilt, but it's been a case of too little, too late, as his golf game—and reputation—have never recovered.

Manti T'eo

In probably the highest profile case of catfishing ever, Notre Dame defensive star Manti Te'o was tricked into believing his online girlfriend had died of leukemia. Two problems with that. One, she didn't die, because, two, she didn't actually exist. The whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by some random dude. Amazingly, Te'o continued to tell the national media that he was playing in memory of his tragically deceased girlfriend, even after he learned he had been tricked. Of course, this just compounded the confusion and misery when it was finally revealed that Te'o was blowing smoke out his rear to try and hide the fact he had been catfished. Dick Butkus probably never had these problems.

Ali Dia

Ali Dia is considered by many to be the worst soccer player in the history of top flight English soccer. He's also a legend for the same reason. Dia, a midfielder from Senegal, got one of his college buddies to pose as famous African soccer player George Weah. The fake Weah then called up Southampton F.C. and talked the general manager into signing Dia to a contract,
sight unseen. Dia played exactly one match for Southampton, being pulled off the field after less than an hour. That was enough time for everyone to realize they had been duped. Brilliant.

Lance Armstrong

While he was busy winning seven Tour de France titles, Lance Armstrong also had a second full-time job: denying widespread allegations that he was a cheater. Everyone knows how this story ended, of course, with Amrstrong being revealed as a doper of the first magnitude, not to mention a world class hypocrite and liar. Many fans who had idolized Armstrong as much for his efforts on behalf of cancer patients as his athletic prowess were left wondering just how they were supposed to feel. The consensus? Betrayed.

The Spanish Paralympic Basketball Team

Finally, perhaps the most heinous and egregious case of lying in sports came from the Spanish Paralympic Basketball team at the 2000 Special Olympics. Competing in the intellectual disability category, which is meant only for players with an IQ 70 or below, the Spanish team rolled through the field and claimed the gold medal. Which was probably really easy for them
considering ten of the team's members weren't intellectually disabled at all. Morally disabled, yes, but intellectually, they were just average folks who decided to lie about it in order to steal medals from the mentally handicapped. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the worst people who have ever lived.