Football has had many problems over the years and one of them has been cheating.

Possibly the most obvious example during the recent World Cup in South Africa has been, what in official parlance has been called ‘simulation.’ This means over-exaggerating a push or diving when no contact has been made – to make sure that a penalty is awarded or an opponent sent off.

There are other more serious examples of cheating in football such as the German match fixing scandal a few years ago and the Italian football scandal which resulted in Juventus being relegated and other Italian teams losing their places in the top European club competitions.

But cheating is not confined to football.

The Tour de France, which finishes in Paris tomorrow, is littered with examples of cheating through drug abuse.

 Tommy Simpson, the greatest British cyclist of his generation, died on the Mont Ventoux during the Tour de France in 1967 after allegedly taking performance enhancing drugs.

Lance Armstrong, a seven times winner of the Tour, is still under suspicion for taking drugs to ensure his success, particularly after the accusations by fellow American Floyd Landis who was himself thrown out of the Tour in 2006 for drug taking after an unbelievable recovery from a bad day in the Pyrenees.

Ben Jonson of Canada will forever be remembered, not as the winner of the 100 Metres Gold Medal in the Seoul Olympics of 1988, but as the athlete who took performance enhancing drugs,

You could add to the list of disgraced athletes Marylyn Jones of USA and Dwain Chambers of the United Kingdom and many others – too many others!

When an Olympic Champion stands on the podium, the first question many people ask is ‘did he take drugs?

But cheating in sport has wider implications.

In today’s Formula 1 German Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari won from team-mate Filipe Massa in second place, allegedly after Massa was given discrete instructions to allow his team mate to pass him and win the race.

The penalty kick must be awarded because the player is fouled.

The gold medal must be awarded to the best athlete.

The Grand Prix must be won on the track and not decided by instructions from the pit lane.

Cheating in sport devalues everyone!

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