Inzamam-ul-Haq refuses to bring his Pakistan team back onto the field after being accused of ball-tampering by the match umpire. Joey Barton flashes his buttocks at Everton fans. An AFL player is taped discussing Ketamine with an alleged 'underworld figure'. Korean Super Reds FC player Lee Sang Jin kicks the ball 'with intent' at an ad hoarding and raises his index finger to the crowd.
The captain of a national football team, playing in the quarter finals of the World Cup, intentionally punches the ball into the goal in a one-on-one with the opposition keeper.
"I was waiting for my teammates to embrace me," he recalls, years later. "No one came…I told them, 'Come hug me, or the referee isn't going to allow it.'"
And the odd one out? Okay, you're ahead of me. That's right, the first four examples were charged by their sport's governing body with bringing the game into disrepute. The final one, Maradona, was awarded player of the tournament at the 1986 World Cup, not two weeks after his cheating was seen by millions.
Unarguably the tournament's most watchable player, it does not alter the fact he is a cheat first, skilful player second. Ben Johnson ran fast, but he is known as a drugs cheat. Cincinnati Reds might have been the world's best baseball team in 1919, but the Chicago White Sox threw the game. The 1994 Chilean goalkeeper may have been decent between the sticks, but he'll be remembered for pretending a firecracker hit him. What will be Barry Bonds' legacy?
The cheat tag sticks. Like murderers, rapists or arsonists, reformed sporting cheats are not referred to as 'former-'.
Yet, to many, classing Maradona as a cheat is unthinkable. Human, sure. Tainted, who isn't? But cheat, no.
At present the sporting world has (at least) two sporting icons bestriding their respective sports, both with reputations for exemplary conduct. Fans of golf and tennis have years of enjoyment ahead of them as they see Tiger Woods and Roger Federer chase the wins to become the greatest of all time. Both could rip up their sports' Grand Slam records.
For Woods, there might be some argument as to who was the greatest if he was seen by TV viewers repeatedly moving his marker closer to the hole during the third round of this year's Masters. Federer might lose some of his shine if it was found he was triggering false Hawkeye calls via a device on his racquet. It is as likely either would blatantly cheat as it is golf or tennis fans would include cheats in their top 10 all time greatest. Not football fans though.
Football has its problems but not all of them can be blamed on officials. Dodgy agents, greedy players, rip-off ticket prices…that many fans continue to vote for Maradona in any Greats list suggests we get the game we deserve.