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Where Sandro Tonali would rank in sport's longest bans if he's handed three-year suspension

Where Sandro Tonali would rank in sport's longest bans if he's handed three-year suspension

Some of the longest bans in sport.

Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali faces a ban of up to three years from football if he is found guilty of betting on matches, reports in Italy claim.

Tonali and Aston Villa team-mate Nicolo Zaniolo were questioned by police in Italy last week amid an investigation into illegal betting.

Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli has already been suspended for 12 months - five months of which are suspended - for breaching betting regulations.

If Tonali is found to be in breach of Article 24 of the sporting justice code, and gets a three-year ban, here is where he would rank among some of sport's longest bans.

Muhammad Ali (four years)

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, citing that his religion forbade him from serving.

He was given a five-year prison sentence, but stayed out of prison while he appealed the conviction and eventually had it overturned in 1971 - nearly four years later.

But Ali was denied a boxing licence throughout the appeals process, effectively banning him from boxing.

Justin Gatlin (five years)

US sprinter Justin Gatlin tested positive for the banned substance testosterone in 2006, and was hit with a four-year suspension, reduced after appeal.

He returned to the track in 2010, before winning a bronze medal in the 100 metres at London 2012. He then won silver in the same event at Rio 2016, before winning the event at the World Athletics Championships the following year.

Enoch West (30 years)

Manchester United star Enoch West was banned for life after being convicted of match fixing, along with four other United players and three Liverpool players, in 1915.

The other players accepted a condition of the ban, which involved them fighting in the First World War, in order to have their bans lifted by the FA.

But West refused the offer, and by the time his ban was lifted in 1945, had been suspended for 30 years.

Between 1964 and 1965, meanwhile, the FA banned 10 players from the sport for life - three later had their bans rescinded in 1972 - in one of English football's biggest match fixing scandals.

Ben Johnson (life)

Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was the world's fastest man in 1988 after breaking the 100 metre and 60 metre world records - but his career promptly came crashing down.

Johnson won the 100m gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, but was later found guilty of doping offences and was stripped of his medal and world record time.

He attempted a comeback after his ban ended in 1991, but was again found guilty of doping and was handed a life ban in 1993.

Lance Armstrong (life)

Lance Armstrong was the most successful rider in the history of cycling's Tour de France, winning it in consecutive years between 1999 and 2005.

However, the American was stripped of all of his seven titles after it was found that he used performance-enhancing drugs over his career. He was banned for life by cycling authorities.

He was also stripped of his bronze medal won at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, although results from his early career still stood.

Liang Wenbo, Li Hang (life)

Earlier in 2023, snooker was engulfed in a match fixing scandal, which resulted in 10 Chinese players being banned for match fixing offences.

Li Hang and one-time ranking title winner Liang Wenbo were handed the most severe punishments, with both banned from the sport for life. Liang was found by an independent tribunal to have fixed or conspired to fix five matches, induced players to fix results of nine matches, bet on matches, threatened another player and destroyed evidence.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Sandro Tonali, Premier League, Newcastle United, AC Milan, Football, Muhammad Ali