Athletes have always been under pressure to win. And some athletes have turned to drugs to give them an edge. But using drugs can have disastrous consequences.
Just look at the athletes who were caught using drugs. In the 1998 Winter Olympics, Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati was caught smoking marijuana and was initially disqualified. But he was later reinstated after it was determined that marijuana was not a banned substance.
In 2012, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling after he admitted to doping throughout his career.
And in 2016, Ryan Lochte lost all his sponsorships and was suspended from swimming for ten months after he lied about being robbed at gunpoint during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. All of these athletes were destroyed by their drug use.
Drugs destroyed those Athletes.
10. Josh Hamilton
Athletes who use drugs to enhance their performance are often labelled as cheaters. Some professional athletes, such as Josh Hamilton, have admitted to using drugs in the past and claim that they have been clean for years. However, many people do not believe that these athletes can stay clean and are often destroyed by drugs.
Hamilton had a stellar career in baseball before he fell victim to addiction. He was named the American League MVP in 2010 and played for the Texas Rangers. However, his obsession led him to use drugs again, and his career quickly went downhill. He was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2015 and was released from the team in 2016. Hamilton is now a free agent and has not been able to find a new team to play for. Unfortunately, many other athletes have also fallen victim to drug abuse.
9. Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona is one of the most talented and controversial soccer players ever to grace the sport. He was known for his amazing skills on the field and his problematic off-the-field behaviour. One of Maradona’s most significant controversies was his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In 2004, he tested positive for ephedrine and was subsequently banned from competitive soccer. This wasn’t the only time Maradona was caught using drugs; he also failed a drug test in 1991 for cocaine. His alleged drug use has been blamed for his poor health and early retirement from soccer. Drugs destroyed many athletes, but none quite like Diego Maradona.
It is no secret that many professional athletes have succumbed to the allure of performance-enhancing drugs. Names like Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones are synonymous with doping in sports, but there is one name that often gets forgotten: Andre Agassi.
Agassi was one of the most celebrated tennis players of his generation, winning eight Grand Slam titles and earning over $100 million in prize money. However, it has since been revealed that he was also a regular user of crystal meth throughout his career.
In his autobiography, Agassi admitted that he began using the drug in 1997 and did not stop until 2001 – after he had tested positive for it and was facing a suspension from the sport. It’s easy to look back now and see the warning signs that Agassi was on a destructive path.
Unfortunately, many professional athletes have had their careers cut short due to this abuse. Derek Boogaard is one of those athletes. He was a professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers. Unfortunately, he died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and oxycodone in 2011.
Boogaard was an enforcer, a player whose role was to defend his teammates by fighting opposing players. He was also known for his aggressive style of play. This led to several injuries, including a concussion that kept him out of the game for most of the 2009-2010 season.
Boogaard started using prescription painkillers to deal with his injuries. This eventually led to an addiction to opioids. In 2010, he entered a treatment program for his addiction to prescription painkillers.
6. Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps. The most decorated Olympian of all time. Twenty-eight medals, 23 of which are gold. But there’s a dirty secret that nobody talks about. A good chunk of those medals was won while Phelps was on performance-enhancing drugs.
Back in 2009, Phelps was caught using cocaine and cannabis. In 2014, he was caught using amphetamines. It’s no secret that athletes use drugs to give them an edge over the competition, but when someone as iconic as Michael Phelps is caught doping, it makes everyone question the legitimacy of his medals.
It’s not just Phelps either. So many other Olympic athletes have been caught using drugs, including Russia’s entire track and field team. So how can we trust the Olympics results when so many athletes are cheating? Maybe it’s time to rethink how we award medals at the Olympics.
5. Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong was one of the most successful athletes in the world. He won seven Tour de France races, was a national hero and had a considerable following. But it all came crashing down when he was caught doping and stripped of his titles.
Others have faced similar fates. Marion Jones, for example, won five medals at the 2000 Olympics but was later found to have used performance-enhancing drugs. As a result, she served six months in prison and lost all her medals.
These athletes were destroyed by drugs, not by their abilities. They cheated and got what they deserved.
Robin Lehner is one of the most recent athletes to speak out about his addiction and mental health struggles. He has been very open about his story and how obsession led him down a dark path.
Lehner played for the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres before signing with the New York Islanders in 2018. He has opened up about how drugs destroyed his career. “I was doing whatever I could to get my next high,” he said. “I was doing cocaine, pills, whatever I could get my hands on.”
Lehner’s addiction caused him to miss games and sometimes not show up for practice. His coaches and teammates were worried about him, but he was too deep to care. In 2017, he entered rehab and cleaned up his act.
Chris Nilan’s career as a professional hockey player came to an end after he was no longer able to compete due to the abuse of drugs. Unfortunately, his story is all too common among athletes, where drugs are used to deal with competition’s physical and emotional demands. Though Nilan was able to win a Stanley Cup early in his career, his later years were plagued by addiction and health problems.
Ross Rebagliati was born in October of 1970 in North Vancouver, British Columbia. When he was only 17 years old, he won a gold medal in snowboarding at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. After his victory, Rebagliati returned home to a heroes’ welcome and was even given a new truck by Chevrolet. However, his success was short-lived.
Less than a year after his Olympic win, Rebagliati tested positive for marijuana use and was immediately disqualified from the sport. He fought the ruling, but it was eventually upheld. In the end, Rebagliati lost his medal and his career as a professional snowboarder.
However, Rebagliati’s story does not end there. He eventually became a successful real estate agent and started a family.
It is no secret that Alex Rodriguez has been caught up in the Biogenesis doping scandal. However, what may surprise some is the sheer number of athletes Rodriguez is alleged to have helped cheat.
According to documents released by MLB, Rodriguez allegedly helped at least 14 other athletes obtain performance-enhancing drugs from Biogenesis. This includes current and former major leaguers such as Ryan Braun and Nelson Cruz.
Many have speculated that Rodriguez’s involvement with Biogenesis led to his suspension for the entire 2014 season. However, it is now clear that his punishment could have been much worse if not for his cooperation with MLB investigators.