Bad behaviour, can be defined in many ways. In children, bad behaviour is often a means of exploring the boundaries within which they are expected to behave and responsible parents are often challenged in finding the solution to change unacceptable characteristics in their children.
Most parents, are successful with this task, but some have evidently miscalculated the headstrong whims of their progeny and in some cases, it’s quite obvious that some of them didn’t even try.
Ice Skater Eliminates Her Rival
Like most professional athletes, Figure Skating, Tonya Harding was determined to be the world’s best, and with her sights set on the forthcoming 1994 winter olympics in Norway, she was putting in the extra practice to achieve that goal.
She was the first American woman to successfully pull off a triple axle in a competition in 1991, however, she knew she had fierce competition in the shape of her arch rival, Nancy Kerrigan.
The two skaters had been duelling for supremacy on the ice for quite a while and although Harding had twice beaten Kerrigan in two consecutive competitions in 1991, including the ISU World Championships in Germany, Kerrigan was a challenge.
Nancy Kerrigan was also putting in the extra practice in the run-up to the Olympic team selection and after practice, one night in 1994, she was viciously attacked by Shane Stant who smashed her right knee with a 22 inch baton.
Although she was lucky enough not to sustain any broken bones during the vicious attack, Kerrigan was forced to withdraw from competing in the US national championships the following day in which Harding grabbed the gold, securing her place in the team for the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
It was later revealed that Stant, along with his uncle, Derrick Smith were contracted to do the ugly deed by Harding’s ex husband Jeff Gillooly. All three received jail time.
Despite the controversy, Harding was allowed to compete in the Olympics, but after a poor performance, she only managed eighth place. Kerrigan also competed, achieving a silver medal after being beaten by the 16 year old Ukranian, Oksana Baiul.
With mounting evidence against her, Harding eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of ‘conspiracy to hinder prosecution’, for which she was fined $160,000 along with a three year probationary period. A few months later, she was stripped of her national title and banned from the USFSA for life.
The Marathon Winner Who Never Ran
In 1979, 26 year old, Cuban born Rosie Ruiz, was working as an administrative assistant for a New York firm. She was keen on long distance running and after completing the New York City Marathon in 2hrs 56 minutes, her boss offered to finance her for the Boston Marathon.
Less than a year later, the diminutive, Ruiz ran the Boston Marathon and astounded the organisers with a finishing time of 2hrs 31’’ which set a new woman’s record, but suspicion soon grew when it was realised Ruiz had hardly built-up a sweat.
An enquiry began and several witnesses claimed to have seen Ruiz emerge from a subway exit before merging with the rest of the pack, a mere half mile before the finish line and ahead of all the other female runners.
No one remembered seeing Ruiz during the race, the majority of which had been led by Jacqueline Gareau from Quebec, Canada and after carefully studying television footage and photographs, the organisers realised that Ruiz was nowhere to be seen during the race.
Eight days after the race, Ruiz was stripped of her title and Gareau was crowned as the rightful winner two weeks later.
Following the Boston scandal, it was also believed Ruiz might have faked her participation in the New York City marathon as well. A photographer claimed to have had a conversation with her on the subway during the race. Her title for that race was also rescinded and Ruiz lost her job.
It’s believed that Ruiz had planned to merge with the rest of the runners half way through the marathon, but in error, she emerged from the subway too early. She later changed her name and has since had several run-ins with the law.
Women’s Soccer Turns Violent
Women’s soccer has reached new heights of popularity around the world in recent years and the women’s game now has its own World Cup series. It has also produced a few of its own bullies.
The women’s game was brought into disrepute in 2009, when Elizabeth Lambert, a fiercely competitive defender for the University of New Mexico team Lobos, was suspended for two games after being charged for violent behaviour on the field.
In a video that went viral, the young blonde, was seen to pull an opponent’s ponytail from behind and bringing the player to the ground with a hefty thump, although it should be mentioned that the player in question was having a tug at Lambert’s shorts before being brought down on her back.
The incident took place during the semi final match between Lobos and Brigham University and the outcome of the game was vitally important to both teams.
In addition to the ponytail pulling, Lambert was also seen kicking the ball into the face of an opposing player while she stumbled to the ground and that got Lambert a two game ban.
20 year old Lambert has been filmed handing out punishment to several players over the years including, punching an opponent in the back, two footed tackles, and tripping the opposition whilst in full flight.
Following her banning order, Lambert offered a profuse apology to her teammates, coaching staff and the team’s supporters, despite the fact that she believed the issue gained more attention because she was a woman. She was reinstated again in 2010.
Bodybuilder Shot By Wife While Cooking Dinner
The term, ‘Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned’, could not have more truth to it than the story of Bodybuilder, Sally McNeil.
Sally met Ray McNeil whilst serving in the US Marine Corps. They were both Sergeants and after leaving the service, they got married and lived with their two young daughters from Sally’s previous marriage.
The couple decided to enter the bodybuilding business with the aim of becoming professionals and after months of workout at the gym, Ray gained his pro card in 1991 after winning the North American Championships.
Being a successful Bodybuilder can be lucrative, but reaching the top, takes a lot of hard work in the gym and after a tough workout session on Valentine’s Day in 1995, Ray returned home from a training session and started to cook a meal before he and his wife began to argue in the kitchen.
Sally had in the past suspected Ray of having several extramarital affairs and one night whilst attending a bodybuilding competition, she attacked Ray’s latest whim and began to beat her about the face while pinning her to the floor before she was finally pulled off.
During the argument, Sally casually left the kitchen and loaded a 12 gauge shotgun in their bedroom before returning to the kitchen and shooting her surprised husband in the abdomen.
Sally then returned to the bedroom, reloaded the gun and again shot her husband in the face. Ray McNeil was still alive, when she dialed 911, went to a neighbour and handed over the shotgun while she waited for the police arrive.
Later that night, Ray McNeil succumbed to his injuries and in 1996, despite pleading self defence, Sally McNeil was convicted of 2nd degree murder for which she received a 19 years prison sentence.
Although the motives for her actions were never entirely clear, it was widely believed that Ray had intended to leave her and she had hoped to gain from his life insurance.
Swimmer Taints Urine Test With Whisky
In the summer of 1996, during the Atlanta Olympics in the USA, Irish swimmer, Michelle Smith, stunned the spectators and judges alike when she won three gold medals and one bronze in the women’s swimming events.
At only 5’.3 inches, the petite strawberry blonde left her competitors in her wake as she stroked past them with ease, including the all time American favourite Janet Evans.
Three years before the Olympics, Smith wasn’t even ranked in the top 25 and after struggling to qualify for the heats in Barcelona in 1992, her performance in the pool at the Atlanta games, astonished spectators and judges alike.
Smith was coached by her Dutch husband Erik de Bruin, who had been a shot putter and discus thrower before being banned from competing after testing positive for anabolic steroids in a drugs test.
At the time, the tiny nation of Ireland had only previously mustered a total of 20 medals of any kind and Smith was the first Irish woman to win an Olympic gold.
She became a national heroine overnight and was even met by the Irish Prime Minister on her return to her native Ireland, however, suspicion began to grow when she missed a scheduled drugs test.
A surprise drug’s test was later carried out and sent to a laboratory in Barcelona who claimed the urine sample contained an excessive amount of whisky, incompatible with human consumption.
Two years later, Smith was found guilty of tampering with her sample and banned from competitive swimming for four years making her ineligible for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia and inevitably ending her professional career.
Jumper Flies High On Drugs
In 2008, Russian High Jumper, Anna Chicherova, received a bronze medal for her achievements at the Beijing Olympics.
In 2011, she outclassed the opposition at the world championships and became the new title holder and went on to win a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London UK, after clearing the bar at a height of 2metres 5cms.
In 2015, new dope testing methods were introduced by the IAAF. The new techniques produced positive results for performance enhancing drugs that had previously gone undetected.
A sample that was taken from Anna Chicherova after the 2008 games tested positive and she was stripped of her bronze medal and given a two year ban from competing internationally.
She was allowed to retain her 2011 world champion title and her 2012 London Olympics gold medal, but her banning order prevented her from competing in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The new tests raised alarms about Russian dope testing and following an independent investigation, into the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, their activities were suspended after being accused of state sponsored involvement with performance enhancing drugs.
The Russian Athletics Federation RusAF, was also suspended and Russian athletes were no longer allowed to compete at an international level.
In 2016, the Global Athletics Body made a decision to allow certain Russian athletes to compete provided any previous samples tested clean. In support of this, the IAAF ruled that Russian athletes could apply, but could only compete under a neutral status.
Following her two year ban, the 36 year old Anna Chicherova applied to compete under a neutral status, but was denied the privilege due to her past history.
Tennis Star Attacks Umpire
Williams was born in Saginaw Michigan in 1981 and started playing tennis when she was just three years old.
Trained by her father in the early years, she has won 23 Grand Slams and several Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles events.
She won her first major championship in 1999 in the US Open title when she beat her sister Venus and has held the top spot in women’s tennis on numerous occasions ever since.
Her tennis skills have netted her around $88M in prize money, $50M more than any other female tennis player. Her fame on the court has also brought her several sponsorship endorsements and her estimated net worth is around $180M.
But her star began to fade in 2009, when she screamed abuse at a lineswoman for calling out a foot-fault at a crucial moment during the US Open semifinal match against Belgian player, Kim Clijsters who went on to win the match.
The outburst by Williams was filled with profanity and finger pointing and the lineswoman alleged that her life was threatened by the feisty tennis star.
The outburst was not well received by the public and despite playing down the episode and refuting the life threatening allegations after the match, Williams was fined $10,000, by the US Tennis Association.
Two months later she was ordered to pay another $82,500 to the Grand Slam Committee, plus two years probation. It was the largest ever fine for a tennis player, but that didn’t stop her from letting go with a tirade of insults aimed at the umpire during a US Open match in 2018 against Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
Williams got into a heated dispute with the umpire who gave her a coaching violation after he had determined she was receiving hand signals from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
In a publicly embarrassing fit of rage, Williams accused the umpire of sexism and of attacking her character and in a fit of anger she smashed her racket. She was penalised for verbal abuse and Osaka went on to win the match. Williams was later fined $17,000 for her bad behaviour.
Olympic Swimmer Steals Flag Outside Palace
Australian swimmer, Dawn Fraser was the first woman to swim 100M freestyle in under a minute. She continued to achieve in the pool and in 1964, she was named the Australian of the year after adding a gold and silver medal to her growing collection at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
In 1967, Fraser received the OBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen of England and also an Officer of The Order of Australia, an honour handed to only 100 people every year.
In 1996, Fraser, was also named one of the seven greatest athletes of all time by the Atlanta Olympic Organising Committee and three years later, she was also named the Australian Athlete Of The Century by the Australian Sports Hall Of Fame.
However, in 1964 Fraser’s fantastic achievements as a swimmer were tarnished by her bad behaviour in an incident at the end of the Tokyo Olympics.
The night before the closing ceremony, Fraser and a few other athletes decided to party and the night culminated in tearing down the olympic flag from a pole outside the palace of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito.
The Japanese police reacted swiftly to the athlete’s exploits and after hiding in a nearby bush, Fraser made off on a bicycle belonging to one of the policemen. Fraser was finally apprehended and arrested with a sprained ankle after leaping down an 8 foot drop in an attempt to escape.
Fortunately, for her, she wasn’t charged and in fact before leaving Japan, she was presented with the flag by the police to keep as a souvenir, but the Australian authorities were not as lenient and they imposed a 10 years ban from competitive swimming, effectively ending her swimming career.
Soccer Star Admits To Years Of Abuse
At full stretch, Abbey Wambach stands at a towering 5’11’’, with a physique that epitomises any legendary athlete.
She started playing soccer at the tender age of 6 and went on to become one of the all time greats in women’s game as a forward/stiker with a goal tally of 184 during her playing career.
Wambach holds the world record for both men and women as the highest goal scorer whilst playing for her national team, but she is possibly best remembered for scoring a late goal in extra time during the Athens Olympics in 2004 which earned her team the gold medal.
She continued with her success in the 2012 Games in London with another gold medal after scoring 5 goals in 6 matches and was named as Player Of The Year by FIFA in the same year.
In 2013, she was named as US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year and in the same year she married her longtime partner and fellow teammate, Sarah Huffman, but the relationship ended in divorce three years later.
Wambach eventually retired from the sport in 2015 after helping her national team win the world cup title, but her life took a turn for the worse after her retirement.
In 2016, the retired soccer star was pulled over by the Portland police after running a red traffic light. She later failed a breath test and was later charged with DUI (driving under the influence of intoxicants).
At the time, Wambach was the advertising face of car manufacturer, MINI USA and after learning of her misdemeanor, her sponsorship for the brand was immediately withdrawn.
It was also later revealed that Wambach had previously flipped her Range Rover onto the front lawn of a house and left the scene of the accident before the police arrived. No charges were brought, but she did agree to pay for any damages.
Wambach later admitted to have been struggling with a failed marriage and the thought of retirement only made matters worse. She also admitted to having used cocaine and Marijuana for several years in the past.
Fastest Woman On The Planet Helped By Drugs
In the year 2000, Marion Jones was the USA’s star of the Olympic games held in Sydney, Australia, after winning five medals at the games including, three gold medals for women’s 100 metres, 200metres and 4×400 relay plus a bronze medal in long jump and another bronze in the 4×100 relay.
Jones was dating USA track-star, Tim Montgomery, who held the world record for the Men’s 100 meters, after beating his longtime rival, Maurice Greene in Paris in 2002 and at the time, the couple were considered to be the fastest man and woman on the planet.
The couple’s fame on the track brought with it a lifestyle enjoyed by very few athletes and collectively, the couple were financially well off.
Jones was earning between $70,000 and $80,000 per race plus an estimated, $1M in sponsorship endorsements and Montgomery wasn’t far behind. With an ever increasing net worth, the couple were living a life of luxury, but that lifestyle would change dramatically just a few years after their success on the track.
Following the BALCO investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs being used by a variety of athletes, Jones tested positive. She vehemently refuted the allegations and continued to protest her innocence until 2007, when she finally admitted
to having used THG, a powerful anabolic steroid since 1999.
She was disqualified from all her results at the 2000 games in Australia and stripped of her 5 medals. She was also forced to hand back all the prize money she had won since that date and was slapped with a two year ban from competitive athletics.
In 2005, her boyfriend Tim Montgomery was also served with a two ban for using performance enhancing drugs and in 2007, he was convicted and sentenced to 46 months for conspiracy in a bank fraud and money laundering plot.
It got even worse a year later, when the once ‘fastest man on the planet’ was sentenced to 5 years in prison after being convicted for intent to distribute heroin.
Jones also served a short sentence in connection with the money laundering plot after
pleading guilty to providing false statements to federal investigators.
Olympic Star Sells Medal To Survive
Debi Thomas started ice skating at the early age of five, and by the age of 9 she was winning competitions.
In 1986, while studying Engineering at Stanford University, she became the first African American to win the senior women’s title at the US Figure Skating Championships. Her win made her the first African American to win a non novice title and later that same year, Thomas went on to win The World Championships.
In 1988, Thomas made winter olympic history when she became the first ever African American ice skater to win a medal at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada.Thomas won a bronze medal after being beaten into third place by Canadian Elizabeth Manley, and East German, Katerina Witt.
Following her success in Canada, Thomas went on to win the US Championships and in 1991, she graduated with a BA from Stanford University and retired from skating a year later in order to study medicine at Northwestern University Medical School.
In 1997, she continued with her medical training to become an orthopedic surgeon and in 2010 she opened her own medical practice in Virginia, specialising in hip and knee replacement.
Life was looking pretty good for the former Ice skating Champion, but after a lengthy and costly divorce which included a custody battle over her son, Thomas had used up most of her savings and with bills and expenses in excess of $600,000, she was forced to give up her practice and live in a trailer with her partner, Jamie Looney.
One night in 2012, after a heated argument with Looney outside their trailer, Thomas let loose with a few shots from a gun and she was arrested shortly afterwards and after undergoing a psychological examination, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Life took a downward trend after that and in order to survive, Thomas sold her Olympic bronze medal to the bank for $2,200 and sadly, her situation hasn’t changed much since.
Soccer Star Accused Of Domestic Violence
Hope Solo was 12 when she started playing soccer. Initially, she played in a forward position as a striker, but later began to concentrate on goal keeping.
In 2000 she started playing professionally and by 2007, she was the first choice goalkeeper for the national squad, but after being benched by her coach in a match against Brazil in which the US team lost, Solo was let go for the rest of the competition after publicly criticising her coach’s decision.
In 2008, she was part of the team that won gold at the summer Olympics in Beijing and was also instrumental in another gold medal for the USA’s women at the London Olympics in 2015.
At the end of the World Cup in 2011, Solo was awarded The Golden Glove Award as the tournaments best goalkeeper along with the Bronze Ball Award. It was also the year that she posed nude for ESPN magazine.
Solo’s football career continued with success until 2016 when she was suspended for 6 months and had her national contract terminated after publicly calling the Swedish National Team ‘A bunch of cowards’. Her statement came shortly after the US lost against the Europeans in a penalty shootout at the Rio Olympics.
Renowned for making the headlines, Solo again became public interest in 2014 when she was charged with domestic abuse after allegedly attacking her half sister and her nephew in a family dispute. The soccer star’s nephew claimed he was punched by her in the face several times.
Police who arrived at the scene, reported that Solo was intoxicated and verbally abusive, and claimed that when asked by the policeman to remove a necklace she was wearing, he was told ‘it was worth more than he earned in a year’.
When that story broke, it was revealed that Solo had a history of bullying dating back to her high school days in 1988, when she was issued with a restraining order after being accused of punching a girl in the face along with threatening name calling.