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20 Athletes Who Publicly Dealt With Their Dark Addictions

We’ve all got little bad habits that refuse to go away. For most of us, it's small things that don’t really affect our daily lives too much and for others it turns into a debilitating problem that could ruin their lives. Athletes are no different in this regard. After all, they’re only human. But there seems to be a surplus of pro athletes whose vices both cripple their professional and private lives. Everything in moderation. These people don’t seem to get that. They overdo things and end up hurting themselves in the process.

From substance abuse to heavy drinking problems, from gambling addictions to even guns, these athletes manage to find the most extreme ways of screwing up. It’s a serious problem for a lot of them and most don’t notice until it’s too late. This is nothing new in the sports world, sadly, as certain athletes have reputations for being somewhat self-destructive. It usually starts off with curiosity then moves on steadily towards excessive use.

In some cases, these problems have not only cost athletes their careers but their lives as well. An athlete would rather be remembered for his accomplishments on the field than the things that kept him off of it. We use the word vice to describe a problem. Something that only serves to hurt the person(s) it’s affecting. While seeing a player lose out on their livelihood certainly paints a strong picture, seeing them waste away is a powerful reminder as to how quickly we can lose control of our lives.

20 George Best – Alcohol

via youtube.com

19 Len Bias – Drugs

via thesentinel.com

18 Dwight Gooden – Drugs

via BigStockPhoto

17 Paul Hornung – Gambling

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

16 John Daly – Alcohol, Smoking and Gambling

Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

15 Roy Tarpley – Drugs

via slamonline.com

14 Rick Tocchet - Gambling

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

13 Alex Karras – Gambling

via vh1.com

12 Nate Newton – Drugs

via totallyradicalsportz.wordpress.com

11 Steve Howe – Drugs and Alcohol

via maceobarry90.blogspot.com

10 Micheal Ray Robinson – Drugs

via basketballlists.com

9 Gilbert Arenas – Guns and Gambling

8 Tank Johnson – Guns

via flickr.com

7 Stephon Marbury – Excessive Sexual Desire

6 Vin Baker – Alcohol

via sportinlaw.com

5 Mickey Mantle – Alcohol

via parade.com

4 Tiger Woods – Sex Addict

Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

3 Allen Iverson – Alcohol and Gambling

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

2 Art Schlichter – Gambling

via cleveland.com

1 Michael Irvin – Drugs

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Irvin established himself as one of the NFL’s greatest receivers in his days with the Dallas Cowboys. Hoever, his addiction to cocaine almost ruined what turned out to be a Hall of Fame career. He’s been charged with drug possession on a number of occasions, none more famous than an incident in 1996. Irvin was celebrating his 30th birthday at a Dallas hotel when Police found him lying on the floor lying on coke with multiple “topless models.” He’s since cleaned up his act, but his drug related past still remains one of the darker chapters of his life.

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20 Athletes Who Publicly Dealt With Their Dark Addictions