Cycling and Olympic sports are often cited as the dirtiest sports, but that’s only because professional team sports, abetted by their players’ unions, turn a blind eye. Does anyone seriously believe that NFL players are cleaner than, say, Olympic swimmers? To believe that is to believe that the arc of human evolution suddenly jumped the curve in the 1980s, producing a race of 300-pound men able to leap tall buildings and run the 40-yard dash like a bullet.

Cheating in sports is but a single facet of the cheating that’s rampant today in everything from education to finance to government. The financial meltdown of 2008 was a bonfire of bad behavior on all sides. Fannie Mae is built on the lie that every American is capable of paying a mortgage. Mortgage lenders steered victims into loans they could never pay. But the victims were not all innocent. Many lied on loan applications, claiming incomes they never had.

President Obama wrote a biography based on fabrications, which he admitted to this year. The oddest of those lies concern the “girlfriend” he now says was a “compression” of real people. Even small lies reveal character.