Success in life is a wonderful thing, however it doesn’t take much to taint the hard-earned achievements most of us just dream about, but with success also comes failure and the difference between the two, is defined by a very narrow margin.
Mistakes by sportsmen on the field, in the ring or on the track are usually short-lived and easily forgiven by ardent fans and supporters, however, there are a few misdemeanors committed that by their very nature, are a bit more difficult to brush aside and as we are not here to judge, we’ll leave that decision up to you.
The Rise And Fall Of Diego Maradona
At the peak of his footballing career, Diego Maradona’s name was on the lips of everyone who had an interest in the game and even a few who did not follow the sport. Things haven’t changed much and even today, the once legendary, star of the football field manages to conjure-up public interest.
At a full stretch, the diminutive Argentinian, stands at 1.65Metres or 5feet 4 inches tall, but that didn’t stop him from being one of the most prolific goal scorers in the game and in his prime, his fast pace, incredible balance and fancy footwork, frequently baffled the opposition.
After an awkward spell at Spanish club Barcelona, Maradona took a liking to cocaine and it would become the monkey on his back for many more years to come. In 1991, he was banned from playing football for 15 months after testing positive for the drug and a few years later during the World Cup in 1994, he brought further shame to his countrymen when he was sent home after testing positive for ephedrine, a stamina enhancement drug.
Perhaps he is best remembered for the 1986 World Cup, where he scored a record of 5 goals and assisted in 5 more, inevitably taking his team and country to victory, but not before punching the ball into the back of the net with his hand in the quarter finals and eliminating England in the process. The incident has often been referred to as ‘The Rise And Fall Of Maradona.’
Luis Suarez Bites Chunks Out Of Opponents
Whilst playing for English football club Liverpool FC, Luis Suarez became the highest goal scorer of the season for his club. The quick-paced striker from Uruguay, sent waves of fear into defenders whenever he approached their goal.
Those fears were further enhanced after the striker gained a rather unsavoury reputation for opening his jaws on opposition players which he was caught doing at least three times during his football career.
For reasons unexplained, the talented striker has taken bites out of three opponents during his football playing career. During a premier league encounter, he was caught having a light snack on the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, which led to him being banned from football for four months plus a heavy fine. At the time, he was playing for Liverpool FC and was the season’s highest goal scorer.
LFC sold the striker to Spanish Giants, Barcelona FC who seemed to have curtailed his biting habits, until he was again caught having a nibble on an Italian player during the FIFA World Cup which saw him suspended for nine international matches.
His fantastic goal scoring achievements whilst playing for Liverpool were unfortunately overshadowed by other controversial issues including racial slurs against opponents. Further, he received even more match bans and although these accusations, were deemed to be over exaggerated, at the time by Liverpool’s main rivals, Manchester United, the incidents and subsequent bans nevertheless soiled what had been an illustrious career, as the number one striker for LFC.
Oscar Pistorius Murders Girlfriend
When Oscar Pistorius was born in 1986, doctors noticed that his legs had no fibulas and decided to amputate both legs just below the knee when he was 11 months old.
Whilst he was still an infant, he was fitted with prosthetic limbs which he soon adapted to and became a keen sportsman in his junior years. Later in life, he was selected to try out a newly developed type of prosthetic limb, made of lightweight carbon-fibre, and attached to sprung steel blades in the shape of a J.
He readily adapted to his new limbs and it wasn’t long before he was competing as a sprinter at an international level and given the name, ‘Blade Runner’.
Following his success as a Paralympian, Pistoruis went on to compete against able-bodied athletes on the track, but his running career was interrupted after it was established his blades gave him an unfair advantage over other athletes, a ruling that was later overturned.
Despite his immense popularity in his homeland, South Africa, Pistorius also seemed to have a dark side to his character and was known to possess a quick temper. In 2009, the athletics star was arrested for common assault, but the charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence. There were also reports of various other misdemeanors, most of which could not be conclusively collaborated.
However, on Valentine’s Day in 2013, Pistorius shot and killed his beautiful, model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp and after a long and protracted court case, he was finally found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to 6 years. In an attempt to have his sentence reduced, Pistorius appealed the court ruling, but that backfired and the 6 year sentence was increased to 13 years incarceration.
Michael Vick Dog Fight Promoter
Michael Vick showed promise as a football player at a young age. Encouraged by his father, he began to stand out in college football and by 2001, he was offered a 6 year contract worth $62M as a Quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons plus a $15M signing deal.
After winning the South Crown in 2004, his contract was extended to the tune of $130M, and he bought a massive mansion in Duluth, Georgia for $3.8M where he hung out with some of his childhood friends and began to attract a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons.
In 2007, whilst investigating drugs related activity by Vick’s cousin on a property owned by Vick, police unveiled a Dog Fighting Ring plus several animals with injuries.
Vick denied all knowledge of the ring and even lied to the NFL Commissioner claiming he had nothing to do with the ring, but it was later revealed that he was heavily involved in the ring and even admitted to bankrolling the operation and he was suspended by the NFL indefinitely.
He was later convicted and sentenced to 23 months in prison for running a ‘cruel and inhuman’ dog fighting ring and was also ordered to pay $1M in restitution charges.
The downward slope in his life continued when he was ordered to pay The Royal Bank Of Canada $2.5M for defaulting on a property loan. A week later he was ordered to pay another $1.1M for a similar offence with another bank and a year later, he was accused of spending money from a pension fund he had set up.
Kash Ali Eats Opponent
It would seem that biters are not restricted to the football field. In a recent All British, heavyweight boxing contest held at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool England, local Liverpool contender David Price, was bitten on the ribs after he and his opponent, Kash Ali, both fell to the canvas after grappling against the ropes.
The incident which took place in the fifth round of a 10 round match, left Price with a serious bite mark and he was awarded the match after his opponent was disqualified. Earlier in the match, Ali had a point deducted for punching his opponent in the back of the head and Price was ahead on points when the previously undefeated Ali decided to have a bite, bringing the contest to an abrupt halt.
Needless to say, the local Liverpool supporters were not too impressed and Ali had bottles thrown at him when he left the ring. It was reported that he and his entourage later made a nifty exit through a side door before making for the highway and heading back to the boxer’s hometown of Birmingham.
Having been sparring partners in the past, the boxers know each other quite well. Kash Ali later said he wasn’t sure what drove him to do what he did. He received a 6 months boxing ban and a £10,000 fine for his trouble and has since apologised to all for his behaviour including David Price.
Is OJ A Murderer?
OJ Simpson enjoyed a successful football career during his college days and in 1968 as a halfback for the USC Trojans who also won the Heisman Trophy that year and by 1975 he had set league records whilst playing with the Buffalo Bills.
In 1985, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame and in that same year, he married a waitress, Nicole Brown and the couple later had two kids.
After retiring from professional football in 1979, Simpson tried his hand at acting and managed to land a few small time roles. He also ventured into sports commentating and ended up commentating for NBC. where he eventually landed a role with NBC.
In 1992, after complaining of years of physical abuse, Simpson’s wife Nicole filed for divorce. Two years later, she and her friend Ronald Goldman were found stabbed to death outside her condominium in Los Angeles.
Evidence found at the scene of the crime led police to believe that Simpson could be a suspect and he was asked to hand himself in, but instead he went missing and in a bizarre call from his cell phone whilst being driven in his SUV by a friend, the nation watched as a live televised aerial police chase took place along the highway. Simpson finally surrendered to the police at his home later in the day.
Simpson hired a legal team that cost him $50,000 a day and in a televised trial that lasted almost 10 months, before he was finally acquitted. He later faced a civil trial where he was found liable for the wrongful deaths’ of Brown and Goldman and was ordered to pay $33.5M in damages.
In 2000 he made the headlines again after allegedly attacking another driver in a road-rage incident, but was acquitted.
In 2008, Simpson finally got jail time after he and an accomplice were convicted of 12 counts of armed robbery and kidnapping after robbing two memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas Hotel room. Both men received a 33 years sentence with the possibility of parole after 9 years.
Mike Tyson Goes Cannibal
Mike Tyson can undoubtedly be considered one of the best heavyweight boxers in modern times. His achievements in the ring are arguably equal to boxing’s other greats, however in an incident in Las Vegas, in 1997, the Heavyweight Champion took a chunk out of Evander Holyfield’s ear in a 12 round title fight. Not satisfied with the first bite, he later went back for a second helping before the fight was stopped in favour of Holyfield.
Tyson later justified his cannibalistic actions by claiming that he had been on the receiving end of several head butts from his opponent which led him to see red.
Holyfield also saw red when he looked down at the canvas to see a piece of one ear missing.
Tyson’s boxing license was revoked for 12 months by the Nevada Boxing Board and he was also fined $3M. Evander Holyfield said he held no grudge against Tyson and in fact he even included him in his prayers.
More than a decade later, Oprah Winfrey arranged a face to face with the two fighters on her TV show.
When asked by her if he had anything to say, Tyson elaborated about how the two boxers came from similar backgrounds, adding that he felt privileged to be acquainted with such an esteemed fighter as Holyfield. The two legends then shook hands and exchanged a smile.
Lance Armstrong Fesses Up
Texan born Lance Armstrong, had been athletic since the age of 10 when he started competing as a triathlete at a junior level. Of the three disciplines demanded in triathlons, swimming, cycling and running, he favoured cycling the most.
During his last year at school, he was invited to train with the US development team
and by 1990, at the age of 20, he qualified for the junior world team and was placed 11th in the World Championship Road Race setting a best time by an American since 1976.
In the same year he also became the US national amateur champion and went on to win two major races beating several professional cyclists in the process.
In 1996, Armstrong was ranked 7th in the cycling world and he was signed up by the French Team, Cofidis for $600,000 a year.
His professional cycling career was interrupted after being diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to other parts of his body including a tumour in the brain which was surgically successfully removed.
Due to his illness, he lost his contract with Cofidis, worth $600,000 a year and eventually signed up to the United States Postal Service Team for $200,000 a year.
In 1997, he was declared cancer free and he returned to cycling and won the first stage of the Tour Of Luxembourg. A year later he won the Tour De France, the first American to do so since Greg Lemond.
By 2005, he had claimed a record breaking seventh Tour win and retired from the sport, but in 2012 it emerged that he had used performance enhancing drugs and was stripped of all his titles and banned from cycling for life along with his former team manager. After years of public denial, Armstrong finally confessed to the charge.
Pete Rose Betting On The Side
Pete Rose, better known as Charlie Hustle was born in 1941, in Cincinnati Ohio. He started playing baseball at the age of 8 and under the guidance of his father, he learnt to use a baseball bat as a switch hitter, batting either left handed or right handed.
When he was 18, he signed up to the Cincinnati Reds and by 1963 while playing at a senior level he had established himself as the first choice in the batting order. By 1973, he had won his third batting title and was also named as the National League’s most valuable player.
In 1979, he joined the Philadelphia Phillies and was instrumental in the team winning the World Series in 1980.
After a short spell with the Montreal Expos he rejoined the Cincinnati Reds as player manager where he achieved his record-breaking hits before retiring from the game as a player in 1986.
Rose remained the manager of the Cincinnati Reds until 1989 when he came under investigation for allegations of betting on sports teams including his own during the mid 1980’s which led to him being banned for life from Major League Baseball.
The investigation prohibited him from being included in The Baseball Hall Of Fame and in 1990, he was fined $50,000 and given five months jail time for presenting false tax returns.
Jail Time Shortened For Aaron Hernandez
Born in Connecticut in 1989, Aaron Hernandez had been a promising seniors basketball player before turning to football.
He played as a tight end for the University of Florida who won the National Championship in 2008 and he achieved a school record with a total of 111 catches across three collegiate seasons.
In 2010, whilst playing for The New England Patriots, he was the youngest player in the NFL and immediately proved he could mix it with the best at a top level and was on his way towards carving out an illustrious career in the game.
In 2011, he and fellow tight end teammate, Rob Gornkowski became an unstoppable New England offence, with a combined 24 touchdowns and the following season Hernandez was given a five year contract extension.
By early 2013, Hernandez was riding a wave towards stardom, but on June 26th, his football career came crashing down after being arrested as the main suspect in the murder of semi pro footballer Odin LLoyd, whose dead body was discovered not far from Hernandez’ house.
He was charged with first degree murder and firearms violations and was released from the team within hours of the news breaking.
In 2014 he was additionally charged in connection with two murders resulting from a drive-by shooting in 2012, but was later acquitted of that crime.
In 2015, he was convicted for the murder Odin Lloyd and received the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and two years later, he was found dead in his cell after hanging himself with a bedsheet.
Tiger Woods Caught Napping
By the time Tiger Woods had reached the age of 6, he was winning matches against boys much older than himself after being coached by his father.
Tiger continued to win innumerable Golf Tournaments as a junior and at the age of 21, he became the youngest ever player to make the Number 1 spot in world golf rankings.
Tiger continued to compete and by 1997 he had won 3 Professional Tournaments. He also won the Masters that year, setting a new world record in beating his opponents by an astounding margin of 12 points.
By 2009, Tiger was at his peak winning seven tournaments from nineteen and ending up in the top 10 in several others, but his wave of success soon came to a crashing end on the night of Thanksgiving that year.
It had long been suspected that Tiger was having extramarital affairs, and on November 23rd, the internet was alive with rumours about his latest fling with a woman named Rachel Uchitel who claimed she was in love with the golfer.
Word was out and Tiger was soon confronted about the allegations by his beautiful Swedish wife of 5 years and mother to their two children, Elin Nordegren. Tiger denied all knowledge of the rumoured affair, but later that night after falling asleep, his wife scrolled through his cellphone and found evidence of the affair.
An argument took place that saw Elin chase Tiger down the driveway of their house before smashing the windscreen of his SUV with one of his golf clubs.
The couple were later divorced and Tiger’s golfing career took a downward trend for the next few years with added health issues and several surgeries to remedy a back problem.
Shane Warne Romps With Porn Star
Australian Cricketer Shane Warne, has been described as one of the greatest players in the history of cricket and as a testament to that, in 2004, he was twice elected as the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the world.
By the time the controversial Leg Spin bowler had retired from professional cricket, he had amassed a record of more than 1300 wickets whilst giving away an average of 27 runs in the process.
He held the record of 708 Test Series wickets until that record was surpassed by Sri Lankan bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan in 2007, despite being regarded as a national hero by his many supporters, Warne’s behaviour off the cricket field was marred by controversy.
In 1995 ,Warne married Australian beauty, Simone Callahan and the couple had three children.
In 1998 Warne and fellow Australian Cricketer, Mark Waugh were fined for receiving money from betting Bookies after offering them information relating to the cricket pitch and weather conditions, all crucially important in the game of Cricket.
In 2003, Warne was suspended from playing for a year, after failing a drugs test which proved positive for a banned substance, the banning order forced him to miss the Cricket World Cup.
In 2013, he was fined $4,500 for obscene language on the field and after making physical contact with West Indies player Marlen Samuels. He was also accused of dissent with an Umpire’s decision.
In 2000, whilst playing cricket in England, Warne allegedly sent lewd messages to an English Nurse, just one of many women who had made the same claim over the years and the adverse publicity finally led to his wife divorcing him in 2005. The couple did reconcilie briefly, until by mistake, Warne sent his wife a rude text message meant for another woman.
In 2006, a London based tabloid published nude pictures of Warne romping with two 25- year-old models.
In 2010, Warne got engaged to screen actress, Liz Hurley and despite British tabloid reports that Warne had a fling with UK based porn star, the couple remained together until their relationship ended in 2013.