The biggest falls from grace in sporting history

Sam Allardyce


Last night, England manager Sam Allardyce made a “mutually agreed” exit from his job upon the discovery that he had negotiated a fee of £400,000 to undercover reporters to represent an overseas firm hoping to profit from Premier League transfers. After just 67 days in the job – and one game – Big Sam’s corruption was uncovered and he was given his marching orders.

Still, with a 100 per cent win rate, it’s not all bad.

Sepp Blatter


(Photo: AP)

Sepp Blatter, the suspended president of FIFA, has faced countless accusations of corruption, which resulted in him finally stepping down in late 2015. In May last year, 14 people, including Blatter, were connected to an investigation by the FBI into wire fraud, money laundering and corruption.

Maria Sharapova


(Photo: Nike x Colette)

Following the revelation earlier this year that squeaky clean Maria Sharapova had failed a drug test, Nike has suspended its multi-million pound deal and her career is in serious jeopardy: she can’t play tennis again until January 2018. She tested positive for meldonium. The drug, which she has been taking since she was 16, has only been banned from sport since January 1 this year, but it seems this won’t play to Sharapova’s advantage (no pun intended).

O.J Simpson


(Photo: Getty Images)

The O.J Simpson trail was one of the most publicised events in American history and is still, to this day, unsolved. In 1994, Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were found dead outside of her Los Angeles condo, alongside a presumed suicide note. All eyes immediately pointed to the professional American football star who, following one of the most debated trails in legal history (it lasted 8 months), was acquitted. The nation was shocked when Simpson’s defence team managed to prove that there wasn’t enough evidence to put Simpson behind bars for murder. In 2008 he was found guilty of robbery and kidnapping and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. He is eligible for parole in October 2017.

Lance Armstrong


(Photo: Getty Images)

Armstrong’s final fall from grace came in 2013 after his admittance, during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, that he had been using banned performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career, including EPO, HGH and blood doping. Once the most popular sportsman in America, and a seven-times Tour de France Champion, Armstrong swiftly lost the respect of hundreds of thousands around the world. He also, during his comeuppance, inferred that the entire peloton was doping and that he was just trying to keep up. This, in actual fact, was true – between 1998 and 2010 it is thought that just one Tour de France was won by a clean rider.

Tiger Woods


While Tiger Woods may still play golf, he suffered a pretty disastrous downfall in 2009 after his adulterous nature boiled to the surface – he was having an affair with nightclub manager, Rachel Uchitel. Woods was married with children. While Uchitel may have denied these claims, his infidelity was indeed revealed after a voicemail to a mistress was uncovered and later 12 other women came forward claiming affairs with the professional golfer. Woods lost advertising contracts with huge brands, such as Tag Heuer and Gatorade.

Lamar Odom

Jazz Lakers Basketball

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball star, an Olympian and one of America’s most loved sportsmen, was disgraced late last year after being found unconscious in a Las Vegas brothel having racked up a $75,000 bill over a five-day period. He had overdosed on a combination of drugs and alcohol and was airlifted to hospital where he remained in a coma for days, to later drift in and out of consciousness during the following weeks.

Mike Tyson


(Photo: Reuters)

In 1997 Mike Tyson had his boxing license revoked and was forced to pay £3 million plus legal costs to cover the disruption caused by biting Evander Holyfield’s ear after he was engulfed with fury during their hugely publicised boxing match. Tyson stated that the bite came in retaliation to being head butted by Holyfield and his license was renewed in 1998. When Tyson and Holyfield both retired, they became close friends.

Oscar Pistorius


(Photo: EPA)

The Blade Runner had one of the most disastrous falls from graces, after shooting dead his long-term girlfriend, Reeva Steemkamp. It was stated earlier this year that Pistorius would not be allowed to appeal his sentence and, in April, he waswas sentenced to six years in jail. Up until this point, Pistorius had gained a reputation as one of the most successful paralympians in sporting history.

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