The story seemed so uplifting -- a college football player who injured himself while rescuing his drowning nephew.
Only, it didn’t happen.
USC football player Josh Shaw admitted to lying about the “rescue” Wednesday, days after his account first emerged. He’s now suspended indefinitely.
Shaw isn’t the first major athlete to be ensnared in a lie, only to have the situation blow up. Here are six notable examples of sports figures undercut by a lie:
Baseball’s all-time hit king faced a lifetime ban over accusations that he bet on the game as a manager with the Cincinnati Reds -- accusations Rose vehemently denied for more than a decade.
“I am innocent about some things, and I’m guilty about other things,” Rose said in a 1991 interview. “Obviously, I am guilty of the things I admitted to, but no way did I bet on baseball, and I’ll never admit I did.”
He reiterated those sentiments after being honored on Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team in 1999.
“I’m not gonna admit something that didn’t happen,” he said at the time.
But five years later, in an interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson, Rose finally came clean.
“Yes I did,” he said when asked about betting on baseball, “and that was my mistake, not coming clean a lot earlier.”
A decade following his admission, Rose remains banished from the game.
Lance Armstrong served as a national inspiration –- a cancer survivor who went on to win seven Tour de France titles.
His Livestrong Foundation has raised more than $500 million, with much of that going to cancer research and other endeavors.
But was Armstrong’s cycling success natural? Armstrong faced consistent doping allegations during his successful run, especially as teammates and competitors were felled by scandal.
He addressed those accusations in a 2004 column published in the San Francisco Chronicle, writing, “I have said it before and I will say it again: I believe that I am the most tested athlete on this planet, I have never had a single positive doping test, and I do not take performance-enhancing drugs.”
He reiterated those comments in 2010 statement, questioning doping allegations raised by former teammate Floyd Landis.
"As long as I live, I will deny it,” he said. “There was absolutely no way I forced people, encouraged people, told people, helped people, facilitated. Absolutely not. One hundred percent."
He finally changed his tune in 2013, admitting to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey amid an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Alex Rodriguez was known as his generation’s most complete baseball player, a slugging third baseman in position to challenge the sport’s major records. In 2007, the Yankees superstar said he had never used steriods.
Within two years, Rodriguez was telling a different story, admitting that he took steroids during his three years with the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003.
“I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day,” he told ESPN’s Peter Gammons.
Rodriguez is suspended this season due to a second steroids controversy, this time involving a Florida drug clinic.