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20 Athletes That Bring Shame To Their Sport

Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. Sound familiar? We’ve all been guilty of feeling shame or making someone else ashamed of us. But it is in the pressure cooker of professional sports where the best and brightest tarnish the game that has made them millionaires and globally famous.

A few names come to mind in the sporting arena where our childhood heroes disgraced themselves. Whether its the scourge of performance enhancing drugs, organizing illegal deals away from the spotlight or biting an opponent in the heat of battle, these athletes only realize the error of their ways in the groggy aftermath.

Then again, sometimes they’re narcissism is so bad they don’t actually feel the shame at all. In their eyes they were victims of a system that let them down, or were a pawn placed in the middle of a rigged game giving them no alternative but to dance with the devil. It’s in the eyes of the public where we can analyze the merits of their actions and how that reflects on their sporting discipline.

There are examples where these athletes have learned the harsh lessons and made amends to help the image of their sport, but for so many their mistake is so egregious they never recover.

Let’s not allow these people off the hook too easy. Athletes who bring shame to their sport undermine all of the effort and honesty that fellow competitors exude. Whether its soccer, boxing, cycling or football, every sport has its identity carved out from what the best and worst people demonstrate, leaving a legacy that etches in the minds. Here are 20 athletes who brought shame to their sport.

20 Antonio Margarito

via news.com.au

19 Robert Rozier

via complex.com

18 Tonya Harding

via cbswashington.com

17 Adrian Mutu

via picpicx.com

16 Barry Bonds

via cbsnews.com

15 Diego Maradona

via footballgeeza.com

14 Lawrence Phillips

via cbssports.com

13 Mark McGwire

via baseballengineer.com

12 Ugueth Urbina

via theglobeandmail.ca

11 Ben Johnson

via telegraph.co.uk

10 Jayson Williams

via nydailynews.com

9 Tiger Woods

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

8 Marion Jones

via usmagazine.com

7 Michael Vick

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

6 Luis Suarez

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

5 Rae Carruth

via therooster.com

4 Ray Rice

Brad Penner-USA TODAY

3 Mike Tyson

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

2 OJ Simpson

via abc.net

1 Lance Armstrong

via BigStockPhoto

Lance Armstrong ticks this category by a country mile. He systematically threatened and bullied his way to cycling supremacy by manipulating an image of the underdog, using his comeback story from cancer to tell the world he was above the fray. While a movie of his life is on the verge of release, Armstrong’s freakish ability to control the narrative shattered into pieces when revelations of his drug use became front page news around the world. 7 Tour de France titles faded into dust as the golden boy of cycling destroyed any semblance of respect the sport had left. He was the great white hope cycling needed, but he turned out to be a big white joke.

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20 Athletes That Bring Shame To Their Sport