You’ll be pleased to learn that cycling isn’t the only sport plagued by lying, cheating sacks of runny owlshit. From The New York Times comes word that McLaren Mercedes, the leading team in the Formula One championship, has been fined $100 million and excluded from the constructors’ title as part of an ongoing spying scandal:
The International Automobile Federation, the sport’s governing body, found the McLaren team guilty of cheating by using data obtained from Ferrari, its main rival, to improve its own car, the federation said in a statement issued following a hearing in Paris.
The team may continue to race, however, and its two drivers — Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, the top two in the points standings — will be allowed to keep their points and will be eligible for the driver’s title.
It was the harshest punishment given to a team in the 57-year history of the sport.
And over at the NFL, the league has fined New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and ruled that the team will forfeit its first-round draft pick in 2008 if it makes the playoffs for violating league rules after a Patriots staff member was discovered videotaping signals by Jets coaches during Sunday’s season opener at the Meadowlands:
“This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,” Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to the Patriots.
Well, at least they weren’t on dope.by