A hoax most definitely:
According to the Museum of Hoaxes
There's no wriggle room. It is a hoax de tutti hoax.
It is, of course, also a sham:
- something fake: something that is presented as genuine but that is not
- impostor: somebody who pretends to be something that he or she is not
- not genuine: not genuine and used for deception
With the book, they flirted with
confidence trick and con artist
They unquestionably use the specific con artist repertoire every time they give an interview, but it's questionable if the sale of a book of lies = the public was conned out of the price of the book. I would imagine this would be one of those times the legal system would remind us that self-promotion isn't the same as scholarship or journalism. If the public thought this was a real book, and not simply public relations, they were deceiving themselves, versus being deceived by Virtue, Moir and Milton. It's more of a small time, not-illegal hustle.
I imagine if Virtue and Moir ever deign to explain themselves, versus doing nothing, or versus recruiting a third party to spin it for them while they're out of reach and inaccessible, they'll sanitize the whole thing under the umbrella of "performance". It's the nature of the sport.
My on-line research is not complete, but it appears that cheating at sport isn't illegal in any non-sporting meaning of the term (Pete Rose went to jail for filing false income tax reports). The governing bodies in sports have rules, regulations, legal and illegal moves and plays, but "legal and illegal" as in it's allowed and not allowed, not "you'll find yourself in a court of law."
The governing bodies are meant to oversee any irregularities, but if the governing body itself is engaging in irregularities and ignoring its own rules, the athletes are shit out of luck.
Onward to Sochi.
It's interesting - or at least there's an irony - that Scott and Tessa have been dishing out the cheat for years to us, the public. Simultaneously, in their sporting lives they are being blatantly ripped off and hustled out of points they deserve while their biggest rival is awarded points for things they didn't do, and all of this very likely may lead to Scott and Tessa being deprived of a gold medal they will unquestionably deserve unless they are literally unable to take the ice. And there's nothing they can do about it but suck it up and play along, despite their vast experience dishing it out.