List of scandals with "-gate" suffix

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This is a list of scandals or controversies whose names in scholarly sources include a "-gate" suffix, by analogy with the Watergate scandal.[1] This list also includes controversies that are widely referred to with a "-gate" suffix, but may be referred to by another more common name in scholarly sources (such as New Orleans Saints bounty scandal).

Etymology, usage, and history of -gate[edit]

The suffix -gate derives from the Watergate scandal of the United States in the early 1970s, which resulted in the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon.[2] The scandal was named after the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.; the complex itself was named after the "Water Gate" area where symphony orchestra concerts were staged on the Potomac River between 1935 and 1965.[3]

The suffix is used to embellish a noun or name to suggest the existence of a far-reaching scandal, particularly in politics and government. As a CBC News column noted in 2001, the term may "suggest unethical behaviour and a cover-up".[4] The same usage has spread into languages other than English; examples of -gate being used to refer to local political scandals have been reported from Argentina, Germany, Korea, Hungary, Greece and the former Yugoslavia.[5]

Such usages have been criticised by commentators as clichéd and misleading;[6] James Stanyer comments that "revelations are given the 'gate' suffix to add a thin veil of credibility, following 'Watergate', but most bear no resemblance to the painstaking investigation of that particular piece of presidential corruption".[7] Stanyer links the widespread use of -gate to what the sociologist John Thompson calls "scandal syndrome":

[A] self-reproducing and self-reinforcing process, driven on by competitive and combative struggles in the media and political fields and giving rise to more and more scandals which increasingly become the focus of mediated forms of public debate, marginalizing or displacing other issues and producing on occasion a climate of political crisis which can debilitate or even paralyse a government.[8]

The adoption of -gate to suggest the existence of a scandal was promoted by William Safire, the conservative New York Times columnist and former Nixon administration speechwriter. As early as September 1974 he wrote of "Vietgate", a proposed pardon of the Watergate criminals and Vietnam War draft dodgers.[9] Subsequently he coined numerous -gate terms, including Billygate, Briefingate, Contragate, Deavergate, Debategate, Doublebillingsgate (of which he later said "My best [-gate coinage] was the encapsulation of a minor ... scandal as doublebillingsgate"), Frankiegate, Franklingate, Genschergate, Housegate, Iraqgate, Koreagate, Lancegate, Maggiegate, Nannygate, Raidergate, Scalpgate, Travelgate, Troopergate and Whitewatergate. The New York magazine suggested that his aim in doing so was "rehabilitating Nixon by relentlessly tarring his successors with the same rhetorical brush – diminished guilt by association".[10] Safire himself later admitted to author Eric Alterman that, as Alterman puts it, "psychologically, he may have been seeking to minimize the relative importance of the crimes committed by his former boss with this silliness".[11]

In recent years, the -gate suffix as a catch-all signifier for scandal has seen some competition from -ghazi, as in "Ballghazi" instead of "Deflategate", or "Bridgeghazi" instead of "Bridgegate". The use of -ghazi is a play on the investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack, which despite numerous official investigations into the possibility of government cover-ups, has resulted in no criminal charges or major repercussions for the individuals supposedly involved. -ghazi may be seen as carrying an ironic or self-effacing connotation in its usage, implying that the event described has the appearance and media coverage of a scandal, but does not actually amount to much in a grander sense.[12]


Arts and entertainment[edit]

Name Year Description Country Reference(s)
Celebgate 2014 A collection of almost 500 private pictures of various celebrities, notably Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kristen Dunst, and Jessica Brown Findlay, many containing nudity, were posted on the imageboard 4chan, and later disseminated by other users on websites and social networks such as Imgur and Reddit. United States
Closetgate 2006 The controversy that erupted following the broadcast of the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet", a satirical parody of the Church of Scientology and some of its famous adherents, such as Tom Cruise. United States [13]
Donutgate (also known as "Doughnutgate") 2015 Singer Ariana Grande was observed on video in Lake Elsinore, California, licking unpurchased doughnuts and stating "I hate Americans. I hate America. That's disgusting." In the aftermath of both police and health department investigations, Grande cancelled her headlining performance at the 2015 MLB All-Star Game concert, citing recent oral surgery. United States [14][15][16]
Flakegate 2000 Photographs of the wedding reception of TV presenter Anthea Turner were used to promote Cadbury's then new Snowflake chocolate bar, bringing scorn from the tabloid press and causing Turner to claim this was not part of the £450,000 by OK! magazine paid her for exclusive access to her wedding. United Kingdom [17]
Nipplegate (also known as Boobgate, and also popularized the phrase "wardrobe malfunction") 2004 Justin Timberlake revealed Janet Jackson's breast during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. United States [18][19]
Pantigate 2014 The scandal involving the Irish entertainer Rory O’Neill saying in an interview on RTÉ’s The Saturday Night Show that a couple of newspaper journalists and the Iona Institute were homophobic. The comments were considered by the journalists as defamatory and RTÉ paid a pre-court settlement, which in itself was controversial with questions about the settlement reaching the Oireachtas.
The name refers to Rory’s drag queen persona, Panti Bliss
Ireland [20]
Portraitgate 2009 Two oil paintings depicting Brian Cowen, Taoiseach of Ireland, in the nude, were briefly displayed in Dublin art galleries in March 2009 as an act of guerilla art. Ireland [21][22][23]
Sachsgate 2008 Comedian Russell Brand and TV presenter Jonathan Ross left a series of obscene voice messages on the answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs during an episode of the BBC Radio 2 show, The Russell Brand Show. United Kingdom [24]

Journalism and academics[edit]

Name Year Description Country Reference(s)
Climategate 2010 Emails that were hacked remotely from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia were publicised by climate change denialists alleging a global warming conspiracy theory: the allegations against climate scientists were subject to eight investigations, which found there was no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct, though there was a finding of a lack of openness. United Kingdom [25][26][27]
Hackgate (also "Rupertgate" or "Murdochgate") 2011 Allegations that the now defunct News of the World had hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians, members of the British Royal Family, and victims of crime. United Kingdom [28]
Mediagate (also known as "Anchorgate") 2012 The controversy over Pakistani top journalists in the mainstream media. Pakistan [29][30][31][32]
Rathergate 2004 The scandal over a forged memo about George W. Bush's military record that ultimately led to the resignation of Dan Rather as anchor of CBS Evening News. United States [33]
Reutersgate 2006 The controversy over Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj manipulating news photos with Photoshop. Lebanon [34][35][36]


Name Year Description Reference(s)
Angolagate (also known as Mitterrand-Pasqua affair) 2008 Arms sales to the Government of Angola by the Government of France between 1993 and 2000. [37][38]
Bebe-Gate 1993, 1997 1) Benjamin Netanyahu admitted having an extramarital affair 2) Allegations that Benjamin Netanyahu chose Roni Bar-On for attorney-general to please Aryeh Deri who was in the corruption trial. [39][40]
Betsygate 2004 Allegations that former United Kingdom Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith had put his wife Betsy on his payroll, without her actually doing any work. [41]
Bigotgate 2010 UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is accidentally recorded calling a party supporter a bigot. [42]
Billygate 1980 U.S. President Jimmy Carter's brother, Billy Carter, legally represented the Libyan government as a foreign agent. [43]
Bingogate 1999 A scandal that occurred during the administration of former Premier of British Columbia Michael Harcourt, involving the skimming of charity funds for use by the ruling NDP by MLA Dave Stupich (Premier Harcourt was not involved but did resign). [44]
Bonusgate 2008 Pennsylvania scandal involving the alleged use of government funds to finance partisan political campaigns. [citation needed]
Bridgegate 2013 Allegations New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration ordered lane closures from Fort Lee, New Jersey, to the George Washington Bridge because the Fort Lee mayor did not endorse his reelection. [45]
Brothelgate 2010 The series of events that led to the resignation of the Irish Minister of Defence Willie O'Dea. [46]
Cablegate 2010 In November 2010, WikiLeaks began to release American diplomatic cables from a trove of over 250,000. [47]
Cashgate 2014 The plundering of Malawian government funds by government officials that occurred in 2013. [48]
Camillagate 1992 Following the release of a tape of a telephone conversation between Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles (Duchess of Cornwall since 2005). [49]
Choppergate (1) 2013 An Indian parliamentary investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption involving several senior officials and helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland surrounding the purchase of a new fleet of helicopters. [50]
Choppergate (2) 2014 An Australian political scandal involving Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop flying from Melbourne to a party fundraiser in Geelong in November 2014, at a cost of AUD$5227. [51][52]
Chinagate 1996 United States campaign finance controversy. [citation needed]
Coingate 2005 The mishandling of Ohio government funds entrusted to Ohio Republican Party operatives, involving rare coin funds [53]
Coalgate 1992 The mishandling of coal field auctions by the Indian government under the UPA-1. The alleged loss was $37 billion. [citation needed]
Corngate 2002 A political scandal in New Zealand in 2002, which involved the suspected release of genetically modified corn seed in 2000. [54]
Debategate 1980 A political scandal in the United States involving the suspicious acquisition of debate preparation documents. [citation needed]
Duna-gate 1990 A political scandal in Hungary in 1990, with the communist regime's secret service illegally collecting information on opposition parties. [55][56]
Emailgate 2015 In violation of federal security and transparency guidelines, Hillary Clinton covertly used a private email account tied to a server that had been purchased under a pseudonym and installed in her New York basement while she was Secretary of State. [citation needed]
Fallagate 2007 Political scandal in Guernsey over an attempt to avoid a political conflict of interest over a hospital extension plan. [57]
Fajitagate 2002 In November 2002, three off-duty San Francisco police officers allegedly assaulted two civilians over a bag of steak fajitas (which were mistaken as drugs), leading to the retirement of the chief of police and the firing of his successor. [58]
Fingergate 2015 A video emerged showing Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis "making an obscene hand gesture" to punctuate his English-language comments about the financial relationship of Greece and Germany during a lecture which he gave in Croatia in 2013. The video was later revealed to be doctored. [59][60]
Fangate 2014 In a 2014 Florida gubernatorial election debate Governor Rick Scott did not take the stage for seven minutes after learning that his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, had a small electric fan underneath his lectern, which Scott's campaign and debate organizers stated was against the agreed rules. Scott was subsequently criticized for nearly derailing a debate over a trivial issue. [61]
Filegate 1998 The illegal possession and scrutiny of 300–900 FBI files by the Clinton Administration without the file's subject's permission. [62]
Garglegate 2010 A radio interview given by Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Brian Cowen in September 2010, in which many commentators said he appeared to be suffering from a hangover. [63]
Gategate or plebgate 2012 UK political row, when Andrew Mitchell MP allegedly called a policeman a "pleb", after he was asked to use another gate to leave Downing Street on his bicycle. This "-gate" scandal is noteworthy for actually involving a gate. [64][65]
Grangegate 2014 A political scandal involving former New South Wales' Premier Barry O'Farrell and a $3,000 bottle of Penfolds Grange. [66][67]
Gulargate 2013 A political corruption scandal in Azerbaijan involving Member of Parliament Gular Ahmadova. [68]
Hairgate 1993 controversy surrounding a haircut given to U.S. President Bill Clinton. [69]
Intelgate 2015 A scandal involving the manipulation of intelligence reports about the wars in Syria and Iraq by the Obama Administration. [70]
Iraqgate 2003 A Finnish scandal involving the leaking of secret documents to Anneli Jäätteenmäki, which helped bring down Paavo Lipponen's government. Later, it also brought down Jäätteenmäki's government. [71]
Irangate or Contragate (also referred to as the Iran-Contra Affair) 1980s The Reagan Administration sold weapons to Iran and diverted the proceeds to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. [72]
Irisgate 2010 UK political scandal involving an affair by Iris Robinson MP MLA, wife of Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson. [citation needed]
Kazakhgate 2005 Scandal surrounding James Giffen, an American businessman and former advisor of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, who paid US$78 million in bribes to high-level Kazakhstani officials to secure the oil contracts for Western companies in the 1990s. [73]
Koreagate 1976 A U.S. scandal involving South Korean influence peddling in the U.S. Congress. This was the first scandal after Watergate to receive the -gate suffix. [74]
Mammygate 2008 Gloria Squitiro, wife of Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser, allegedly called one of her secretaries "mammy". The secretary, Ruth Bates, who is black, sued the city council for discrimination. The case was settled in 2009. [75][76]
Memogate (2) 2011 Controversy surrounding an alleged Pakistani memo seeking the help of the Obama administration in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid to prevent a military takeover in Pakistan. [citation needed]
Monicagate, Lewinskygate, Tailgate, or Sexgate ("Zippergate", "the Lewinsky scandal") 1990s Named after Monica Lewinsky who had an "inappropriate relationship" with the then-U.S. President Bill Clinton. [77]
Muldergate 1979 South African political scandal in which funds were clandestinely diverted by defence minister Connie Mulder for overseas propaganda in support of the apartheid regime. The scandal brought about the downfall of BJ Vorster. [78]
Namagate 2015 A Northern Irish political and financial scandal in which the First Minister of Northern Ireland allegedly stood to benefit from the sale of a portfolio of loans and properties by the National Asset Management Agency.
Nannygate (1) 1993 A political controversy in the United States wherein the nomination of Zoë Baird and near-nomination of Kimba Wood for U.S. Attorney General were withdrawn due to the hiring of illegal aliens as nannies or the failure to pay taxes for them. [citation needed]
Nannygate (2) 2006 Swedish scandal over the non-payment of employment taxes of nannies and obligatory television fees by members of the Reinfeldt cabinet. [citation needed]
Nkandlagate (1) 2009 South African political scandal brought to light in 2009 by Mail & Guardian regarding a multimillion state funded private home of South African President Jacob Zuma. The story became more sensitive after the release of the public protector Thuli Madonsela's report titled Secure in comfort. The scandal drove the opposition to initiate impeachment proceedings against Zuma. [79]
Officegate 2001 First Minister of Scotland Henry McLeish resigned after it was revealed that, while a Westminster Member of Parliament between 1987 and 1998 (before the advent of devolution), he sublet his constituency office in Glenrothes, Fife, but failed to ensure that it was registered or that the party issued funds from the income to the House of Commons. [80]
Pardongate 2001 Controversy surrounding Bill Clinton's pardons of 140 people on his last day in office as President of the United States, including Patty Hearst [citation needed]
Pastagate 2013 Montreal controversy, in which an Italian restaurant was investigated by the Quebec government for using words that do not comply with their language laws, such as "bottiglia", "calamari" and "pasta". [81]
Pastygate 2012 Controversy in March/April 2012 around the taxation by the UK Government of hot snacks such as pasties, where Conservative ministers were said to be out of touch with the eating habits of ordinary people. [82][83]
Pemexgate 2000 Scandal involving state-owned oil company Pemex in Mexico in which funds were used to support a political campaign of the presidential candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party. [citation needed]
Petrogate 2008 The name given by the press in Peru to the corruption case involving lots of oil, where Norway mining company Discover Petroleum and Peruvian State owned Perupetro are involved, which shocked the policy in Peru, and prompted the resignation of cabinet ministers. [citation needed]
Piggate 2015 The name given to the accusation Lord Ashcroft made against British Prime Minister David Cameron, of performing a ritual in which he engaged in sexual acts with a dead pig's head. [84]
Piñeragate 1992 Political espionage and eavesdropping involving Sebastián Piñera, later (2010-2013) President of Chile. [citation needed]
Plamegate (also "Leakgate", "CIA leak scandal", "Plame affair") 2005 The revealing, by Robert Novak, of the name of Valerie Plame. Lewis Libby allegedly leaked to the media the identity of a covert CIA agent who worked on WMDs, in retaliation for her husband, Joseph C. Wilson, criticizing George W. Bush's justification for the invasion of Iraq. [85]
Ponytailgate 2015 A young waitress claims Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key pulled at her hair's ponytail numerous times over several months while visiting the café, even after being requested to stop by her and his wife. [86][87][88]
Porngate 2012 Three members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in India resign from their offices after accusations that they watched porn during government proceedings. [citation needed]
Railgate (also known as the Basi-Virk Affair and the BC Legislature Raids scandal) 2007 Scandal and court proceeding involving influence peddling and abuse of privilege in regard to the sale of BC Rail to Canadian National Railways by the government of British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, the raid of government offices in the provincial legislature building on December 28, 2003. [89]
Rinkagate 1976 UK scandal in which Jeremy Thorpe, leader of the UK Liberal Party, lost his position and his seat in Parliament after being accused of involvement in an unsuccessful attempt to murder an alleged former gay lover. Thorpe was eventually acquitted, but the scandal and an unrelated personal illness ended his career. "Rinka" refers to a Great Dane that was killed in the attack. [90]
Robogate 2011 Allegations of widespread voter fraud occurring during the 2011 Canadian federal election. Robotic and live calls to voters are claimed to have been made in 200 ridings. Investigation by the RCMP, the CPC and Elections Canada. [91]
Rywingate 2004 Polish scandal (including the prominent media mogul Lew Rywin, hence the affair's popular nickname) that led Leszek Miller's government to an end and his party's crushing defeat in the presidential and parliamentary elections in the following year. [citation needed]
Shawinigate 1999 Canadian scandal involving then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's profiting from real estate deals in his home riding of Shawinigan, Quebec [92]
Smeargate 2009 UK scandal brought to light in April 2009 by the publishing of secret "smear campaign" plans made by members of the UK Labour government aimed at tarnishing several Conservative MPs' careers. [citation needed]
Squidgygate (also known as Dianagate) 1992 Tape of a telephone conversation between Diana, Princess of Wales and a male friend. [93]
Stormontgate 2005 Allegations of a Provisional Irish Republican Army spy ring operating in Stormont (Home to the Northern Ireland Assembly). [94]
Strippergate (Seattle) & Strippergate (San Diego) 2000s Two separate government scandals and criminal investigations [citation needed]
Thulegate 1995 Danish scandal regarding the storage of nuclear weapons in Greenland, in contravention of Denmark's nuclear-free policy. [citation needed]
Toallagate 2001 Scandal in Mexico due to the high cost of bathroom towels (around US$400 apiece) bought for the official residence of the Mexican president. [95][96]
Taxigate 2005 The second major scandal to rock the Scottish Parliament after its founding; Scottish Conservative Party leader David McLetchie was found to have claimed an excessive amount in taxi expenses (over £11,000) many of which were for party business rather than parliament business. The debacle resulted in McLetchie's resignation as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. [97]
Travelgate 1993 Controversy surrounding firings of White House Travel Office employees at the start of the Clinton administration. [98]
Troopergate (1) 1994 Allegations by two Arkansas state troopers that they arranged sexual liaisons for then-governor Bill Clinton. [99]
Troopergate (2) 2007 Controversy involving New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who allegedly ordered the state police to create special records of senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno's whereabouts when he traveled with police escorts in New York City. [100]
Troopergate (3) 2008 The controversy surrounding allegations that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee for the United States presidential election, fired the state's public safety commissioner, allegedly for not cooperating with her demand that he dismiss her former brother-in-law, a state trooper. [101] Palin uses the term "Taser-gate", a reference to the allegation that the trooper used a taser on his 10-year-old stepson.[102]
Tunagate 1985 Canada political scandal involving large quantities of possibly spoiled tuna that were sold to the public. [103]
Utegate 2009 Australian political incident in June 2009 around the lending of a utility vehicle ("ute") to Australian Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd by car dealer John Grant, and subsequent allegations of improper favorable treatment of Grant by the Treasury department. [104][105]
Valijagate 2007 Venezuelan-American entrepreneur Guido Antonini Wilson arrived in Argentina on a private flight hired by Argentine and Venezuelan state officials carrying US$800,000 in cash, which he failed to declare. [citation needed]
Wampumgate 1995 Controversy around the 1995 rejection of an Indian gambling project submitted by three impoverished tribes in the American northlands. [citation needed]
Watergate 1974 The original "gate" scandal got its name from the Watergate Hotel, where two politically motivated burglaries took place in 1972. The Watergate scandal ultimately led to the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974. [citation needed]
Waterkantgate (also known as Watergate an der Waterkant) 1987 A major political scandal in Germany [106]
Weinergate 2011 U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner's Twitter account linked to an inappropriate photograph. Weiner claimed that his account had been hacked, but later admitted he sent the tweet; numerous other lewd photographs from Weiner were later revealed. In 2013, after he resigned from the House and attempted to return to politics by running for mayor of New York City, it was revealed that he had been involved in another sexting relationship with a woman in her early twenties. [107][108][109]
Wormgate 2007 Australian Federal Election Leaders Debate Controversy. A controversial decision was taken during the debate to interrupt the provision of the live transmission signal to the Channel Nine network because of the inclusion by Channel Nine within its broadcast picture of a real-time graphical display of the aggregate studio audience reaction to the debate. This graphical display is referred to as the "Worm", after the form in which it is rendered and an approximately "worm like" movement of the display within the area of the screen in which it appears. [citation needed]


Name Year Description Reference(s)
Bibgate 2009 American Nordic combined skier Bill Demong's disqualification for not wearing his bib during the ski jumping part of the team event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec, Czech Republic, on February 26. [110]
Bladegate 2012 Controversy arisen during the 2012 Summer Paralympics when athlete Oscar Pistorius questioned the size of the running blade of fellow amputee sprinter Alan Oliveira on live television when the former unexpectedly caught up with Pistorius and narrowly overtook him before the finishing line at the Men's 200 metres T44 final. [111][112][113]
Bloodgate 2009 The events surrounding a faked injury to Tom Williams of English rugby union side Harlequins in a 2008–09 Heineken Cup quarterfinal against eventual champions Leinster. Specifically, Williams used fake blood to dupe the referee into allowing Harlequins to send in a blood replacement, at the instigation of Harlequins coach Dean Richards and team physiotherapist Steph Brennan. Williams later admitted that his mouth had been cut open immediately after the match in an attempt to cover up the fake injury. Richards was ultimately banned from rugby for three years and Brennan for two; Williams was initially banned for one year, but his ban was reduced to four months for his role in revealing the full extent of the scheme. [114]
Bottlegate 2001 Rowdy fans of the Cleveland Browns threw plastic bottles and other debris on the field after a controversially overturned call in the final minute of the game led to the Browns losing the game 15–10 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. [115][116]
Bountygate 2012 In March 2012, the NFL discovered that from 2009 to 2011, a number of New Orleans Saints players and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had operated a "bounty" scheme, illegal under league rules, in which defensive players received financial rewards for big plays, including those that injured offensive players. The investigation also revealed that head coach Sean Payton knew about the scheme but took no steps to stop it. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell handed out multiple suspensions to coaches and players involved in the scheme. The most severe were an indefinite suspension (ultimately one year) for Williams and season-long suspensions for Payton and player Jonathan Vilma (Vilma's suspension was overturned during the season). [117][118][119]
Bumpgate 2014 A controversial fist bump from NFL officials after a running touchdown against the Buffalo Bills by CJ Anderson of the Denver Broncos led some fans and players to believe a conspiracy existed against the team. [citation needed]
Bumpergate 1982 The allegations that Bobby Allison's car was modified so the rear bumper would fall off giving him an aerodynamic advantage allowing him to win the 1982 Daytona 500. [citation needed]
Buttongate 2004 The contractual dispute that occurred during the second half of the 2004 Formula 1 Season between Williams and BAR, over who would acquire the services of British driver Jenson Button for the 2005 season. Button's management insisted that he was free to defect to Williams because of an uncertainty over who would be BAR's engine supplier in 2005, but they were overruled by the Formula One Contract Recognition Board in October 2004. [citation needed]
Clockgate 2001 A last-second touchdown pass thrown by Michigan State quarterback Jeff Smoker to running back T.J. Duckett against rival Michigan came under accusations that the game clock was stopped too early, allowing the Spartans to run the game-winning play. [citation needed]
Crashgate 2008 The allegations of race fixing at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, where Renault team bosses allegedly ordered Nelson Piquet to crash, handing an advantage to his team mate, Fernando Alonso. [citation needed]
Deflategate (1) 2015 Allegations surfaced that the rear tyres of race winner Lewis Hamilton Mercedes were below Pirelli's recommended minimum tyre pressure standards in a random check. Although many officials from other teams agreed he should have been disqualified, citing "a safety issue", the race officials determined that no further action would be taken and the win would stand [citation needed]
Deflategate (2) 2015 After the 2015 AFC Championship game, the NFL acknowledged it was investigating reports that the game balls had been deflated. One report arose from Indianapolis Colts player D'Qwell Jackson after he intercepted a pass by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Patriots coach Bill Belichick stated he knew nothing of the reports until the morning following the game, and that he and the team would "cooperate fully" with any investigation. Brady called the allegation "ridiculous". On January 20, sources reported that 11 of 12 footballs provided by the Patriots were underinflated. On May 11, 2015, the NFL announced that it has suspended Tom Brady without pay for 4 games of the upcoming season, however that suspension was later reduced to 2 games, before the suspension was eliminated all together, and Brady was allowed to play in Week 1. The Patriots will also be fined $1 million and lose their 1st round pick in the 2016 NFL draft and their 4th round pick in the 2017 NFL draft. The NFL also announced a 3-day appeal deadline. Brady's agent indicated the penalties will be appealed. They were, and the suspension was overturned. [120][121][122][123][124]
FIFA-gate 2015 A case of corruption and money laundering by officials and associates connected with FIFA, the governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer. [125]
Grannygate 2006 A rugby league scandal involving New Zealand players and their family history. The term was most recently invoked in the 2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations series, in which New Zealand was penalised for fielding former Queensland hooker Nathan Fien. [126]
Homeworkgate 2013 Used to describe a controversial sequence of events that took place during the Australian cricket tour of India in 2013. [127][128]
Indygate 2005 Seven Formula One teams pull out of the 2005 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ("Indy") following tyre failures and the inability to come to a compromise with the FIA. [129]
Lleytgate 2008 The sixth day of the 2008 Australian Open featured a long, five-set match between World No. 1 Roger Federer and Janko Tipsarević, which extended into the evening session of the day, and thus delayed it by more than two hours. As a result, the scheduled second match of the session between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis did not start until just before midnight Australian time, and the match, which also lasted five sets, did not finish until 4:33am local time. The second match had been delayed initially as a match between Venus Williams and Sania Mirza had to be played out first, as per the schedule. [130]
Moggigate 2006 Italian football scandal. Clubs of Italian Serie A were involved in a referee appointment scandal. Named after Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi. [131]
Napgate 2010 In May 2010, Ken Griffey, Jr., who played for Major League Baseball (MLB)'s Seattle Mariners, was asleep in the clubhouse according to two teammates. Griffey did not deny being asleep and quit the team one month later. [132][133][134]
Noisegate 2015 The Atlanta Falcons were disciplined for piping in fake crowd noise during home games in 2013 and 2014. The team was fined $350,000 and will lose their 5th round draft pick in 2016. Falcons president Rich McKay was suspended from his position on the league's Competition Committee. [135]
Ovalgate 2006 The Pakistani Cricket Team forfeited the 2006 Oval Test Match against England after allegations of ball tampering. [citation needed]
Partgate 2008 NASCAR team owner Jack Roush accuses fellow team Michael Waltrip Racing of stealing a sway bar at a test session. Waltrip later admits they had the part, but it was taken accidentally. [136][137]
Ponygate 1987 During the late 1970s and early 1980s, boosters of the SMU Mustangs football program made illicit cash payments to potential recruits, with university officials and football coaches having full knowledge of it. After two former players exposed the scandal in news interviews, the NCAA gave the program the "death penalty" in 1987, shutting the program down for two years, and under strict probation for the following two seasons after that. Virtually all the university officials involved, as well as all the coaches in the program, resigned. The scandal was the subject of ESPN's 30 for 30 series' episode, Pony Excess. [citation needed]
Seatgate 2011 Referring to the scandal over 800 ticketed fans who were denied seats at Super Bowl XLV due to Fire Officials' regulations. [138]
Shouldergate 1978 A controversy that arose in June 1978 when the Pittsburgh Steelers were found to have practiced in pads during an off-season period in which such drills were not allowed under NFL rules. The team was stripped of its third-round selection in the 1979 NFL Draft as a penalty. [139]
Sirengate (1) 2008 A controversial match in Australian rules football when the umpire failed to hear the final siren, allowing St Kilda to score an extra point and draw the match. Four days later, the Australian Football League overturned the result and awarded the match to Fremantle. [140]
Sirengate (2) 2014 A National Rugby League match between the Melbourne Storm and St. George Illawarra Dragons ended in controversy when the Storm, trailing 22–24, played the ball ten metres out from their line just as the full-time siren went, and from the subsequent play, winger Young Tonumaipea scored the match-winning try which officials the following day said should never have been awarded. [141]
Sonicsgate 2009 The controversial relocation of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City. The creators of the Webby Award-winning 2009 documentary Sonicsgate coined this term as the title of their film and video series, which soon became synonymous with the scandal as the definitive historical document on the topic. [142][143]
Spygate (1) (also known as Stepneygate) 2007 Allegations of espionage in Formula One racing carried out by members of the McLaren team. [144][145][146]
Spygate (2) 2007 The scandal involving the New England Patriots' videotaping of the New York Jets defensive signals during a 2007 NFL game. [147]
Sodagate 2013 On November 27, 2013, late in an NBA game at Barclays Center between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers with no timeouts remaining, Nets then coach Jason Kidd communicated to Tyshawn Taylor during a stop, "Hit me", while holding a cup of soda. The ensuing spillage delayed the game and allowed for the Nets' coaching staff to draw up a final play as they were down 96–94. Although the Nets eventually lost, the incident caused much controversy among fans and the media, and after a league review deeming the event incidental, the NBA fined Kidd $50,000. [148]
Spingate 2013 Near the end of the 2013 Federated Auto Parts 400 race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2013, team orders became an issue in order to ensure certain drivers would make the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer spun in turn 4 on lap 393 of 400 to bring out a caution while Michael Waltrip Racing's general manager and vice president Ty Norris ordered Brian Vickers to pit, both in an attempt to help Michael Waltrip Racing driver Martin Truex, Jr. make the Chase over Ryan Newman, who was leading the race before the caution caused by Bowyer. Carl Edwards won the race and Truex made the Chase while Newman did not. A few days after the race, Michael Waltrip Racing was fined $300,000 while Bowyer and Truex both lost 50 points, enough to knock Truex out of the Chase and allow Newman to make it. In addition, it was determined that Penske Racing and Front Row Motorsports collaborated to have Front Row Motorsports driver David Gilliland give up track position to ensure Penske Racing driver Joey Logano made the Chase. [149]
Tattoogate 2011 In May 2011, Jim Tressel, the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, resigned amid allegations that he lied in order to cover up activities, including tattoos, undertaken in violation of NCAA rules by players he was coaching. [150][151][152]
Textgate 2015 The Cleveland Browns and general manager Ray Farmer were disciplined for sending text messages to coaches during games in the 2014 season, a violation of NFL rules. The team was fined $250,000 and Farmer received a four-game suspension without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season. [153]
Tigergate 2010 A series of alleged and admitted marital infidelities by golf superstar Tiger Woods. [154]
Tissuegate 2015 At the conclusion of an April 4, 2015 Major League Soccer match between FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers, Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja taunted Timbers head coach Caleb Porter by mockingly offering him a tissue during their post-game handshake. Pareja was irritated by Porter's "crying" at the referees throughout the match. Porter, whose team won the match 3–1, responded by pointing to the scoreboard and saying, "scoreboard," and proceeded to toss the tissue back in Pareja's face. Pareja had to be restrained by his coaching staff. [155]
Toiletgate 2006 The allegations by Veselin Topalov and his manager Silvio Danailov during the World Chess Championship 2006 that Topalov's opponent Vladimir Kramnik was visiting the toilet suspiciously frequently during games. The allegations were never proven, and were widely viewed within the international chess playing community as an act of gamesmanship on the part of Topalov and Danailov, attempting to distract Kramnik at a time when he was ahead in the match. [156]
Tripgate 2010 During a December 11, 2010 NFL game between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, the Jets' strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripped Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll as he ran down the Jets sideline. The Jets suspended Alosi indefinitely for setting up a "wall" on the sideline and claimed that "he acted alone in doing so". [157]
Twirlgate 2015 After No. 7 ranked Eugenie Bouchard defeated Kiki Bertens in the second round of the 2015 Australian Open, Bouchard was asked during her on-court interview to "give us a twirl." When Bouchard balked, the male presenter persisted, saying: "A twirl, like a pirouette, here you go." Bouchard reluctantly acquiesced, twirling in front of the crowd. The exchange set off a firestorm on social media, with some fans excoriating the request as sexist and many questioning whether a man would have been asked to twirl. [158][159]


Name Year Description Country References
Antennagate (also known as Gripgate) 2010 The name the media applied to the controversy over the iPhone 4's antenna after initial users complained of dropped calls and Consumer Reports would not recommend it. United States [160][161][162][163][164]
Bendgate 2014 Numerous people reported bent iPhone 6 Plus phones, which was later reported on by Consumer Reports. United States [165][166]
Dieselgate (or Emissionsgate) 2015 An investigation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board alleging that Volkswagen Group "cheated" on TDI diesel engine emissions tests, by programming the engine management unit to enable all emissions controls during emissions testing, then disable certain emissions controls during real-world driving. United States [167][168]
Donglegate 2013 A series of events following a double entendre on the word "dongle" overheard at a programmers convention March 17, 2013, which led to two people being fired and a DDoS attack. United States [169]
Gamergate 2014 A controversy regarding widespread sexism in video game culture, alleged questions about journalistic ethics, and reactions against social criticism of video games. United States [170]
Chipgate 2015 Apple used two different kinds of processors in the iPhone 6 and 6S, one made by Samsung and the other by TSMC, with the Samsung one running hotter and using more battery life. United States
Staingate 2015 Anger over reports that the anti-reflective coating appears to be wearing off several MacBook Pros, including mid-2012 to mid-2014 models sold between June 2012 and present. United States [171][unreliable source][172]


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External links[edit]