I doubt you'd find many willing to argue that its a cardinal sin (though many on this board would automatically say that anything cardinal is indeed a sin
), however its grabbing a ton of attention because its so bizarre. Star athlete making up a girlfriend, then saying that she died of lukiema and claiming it as motivation (or perhaps allowing others to cite it as motivation) to get thru a perfect season and a heisman trophy finalist.
I'm not sure that anything in sports equates to this. Sure Pete, Lance, and many others have lied, but their lies all were to avoid accusations and/or staying involved w/n their sport. There was no tangible benefit to this story other than the additional attention at gained for Teo.