Tonya Harding Tonya Harding holds
her place as the subject of the most infamous Olympian-related scandal in history. If you don’t know the story, it goes a little something like this: In 1994, Harding had her heart set on making the U.S. figure skating team. She wanted it so badly, that she decided to sabotage another skater, Nancy Kerrigan, who was also gunning for the same spot. And by sabotage, we mean inflicting physical harm. Yep, Harding, her ex-husband, and her bodyguard came up with a not-sobrilliant plan to break Kerrigan’s leg so that she’d be unable to compete, thereby handing over the number one spot to Harding on a silver platter. The ill-conceived plan went awry and Harding ultimately plead guilty to covering up the attack, which landed her with probation and a lifetime ban from her beloved sport. After the scandal, she did a pretty good job of staying out of the public eye until 2000 when she was arrested on charges of domestic violence after a scuffle with her boyfriend. Who knew figure skaters were so violent?
Shaun White With two gold
medals under his belt, Shaun White (aka The Flying Tomato) is one of the most talented snowboarders to ever hit the slopes. Unfortunately, in 2012, the olympian made headlines for something much less admirable—an arrest. White, who was 26 at the time, was busted for vandalism and public intoxication after he pulled a fire alarm and broke the phone at his Nashville hotel.
Michael Phelps Michael Phelps rose
to stardom when his swimming abilities had the world wondering if he was actually some sort of fish/merman hybrid. Seriously, the guy won 22 gold medals over the course of his career—22! However, like Shaun White, Phelps’ athletic talents were pushed aside when photos of the swimmer smoking weed at a college party went viral. He wasn’t arrested, but he did face some harsh consequences in the athletic arena. Many people don’t know this, but the marijuana incident wasn’t Phelps’ first bout of illegal behavior. In 2004, when he was just 19 years old, Phelps was busted for drunk driving in Maryland. He pled guilty to the DUI charge and was put on probation.
Joshua Booth Australian rower Joshua
Booth was arrested not too long after he failed to place in one of his events during the 2012 London Olympics. The charges? Well, apparently Booth was pretty upset about not winning a medal and decided to drown his sorrows. The drunken athlete was arrested after he allegedly damaged a storefront while under the influence. Yikes! Better luck next time, Booth.
Ryan Wedding Pro snowboarder Ryan
Wedding garnered quite the bad-boy reputation back in 2008 when he was arrested on drug trafficking charges. He was caught in Los Angeles after he sold a kilogram of cocaine for a whopping $17,000 dollars. A kilo of cocaine? That’s 2.2 pounds! Selling coke is bad enough, but get this: Wedding sold the drugs to undercover FBI agents! The illegal transaction led agents to Wedding’s hotel room where they discovered $100,000 in cash. In 2010, he was sentenced to four years, which meant that he’d be absent from the next two rounds of the Winter Olympics. Will he be competing in the 2018 games? Welp, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
Marion Jones Marion Jones made
a name for herself after she won five gold medals in track and field events during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. However, after the games were over, she became the subject of a media frenzy due to doping allegations. She eventually admitted to using performanceenhancing drugs, but that wasn’t the end of it. In 2007, Jones’ bad behavior made headlines yet again, but this time the allegations were criminal. She was busted (and pled guilty) to fraud due to her involvement in a check-counterfeiting scheme and was sentenced to six months in the slammer. Olympian and Tim Montgomery was also involved, which brings us to number 7 . . .
Tim Montgomery Dubbed “The Fastest
Man In The World” in 2002, Tim Montgomery’s future was brighter than ever . . . until he decided to become a criminal. So you read the deets about Marion Jones above, right? Well, Montgomery (a fellow Olympic gold medalist in track and field) was also involved in all that drama. Seriously, the story is almost identical. He was caught using steroids, and then pled guilty to bank fraud in 2007 after conspiring to deposit upwards of $5 million in counterfeit checks to various bank accounts. So, what was the damage? Montgomery was sentenced to four years in prison, and then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, he was also found guilty of dealing heroin which tacked on an additional five years to his time behind bars.
Ross Rebagliati The 1998 Winter
Olympics marked a turning point for the men’s snowboarding, and Canadian Ross Rebagliati was the first person to ever win an Olympic gold medal for the sport. Unfortunately, his triumph was overshadowed when he tested positive for marijuana after the games had finished. Rebagliati was stripped of his medal, but he appealed the ruling, and just a couple days later, his gold medal was reinstated. However, he continues to be known more for his weedsmoking than his snowboarding, but that seems to be a trend when it comes to athletes with an affinity for the green stuff (we’re talking to you, Michael Phelps). Turns out Rebagliati is now an advocate for the legalization of marijuana . . . how ironic!
Oscar Pistorius Did you think
we’d make this list and forget to include Oscar Pistorius? No way, jose. Surely you’ve heard about the Pistorius drama. You know, the whole murder thing? Yeah, that. Well, if you’re not up-to-date, then here’s the scoop: Pistorius, a double-amputee Olympic sprinter from South Africa, had fans all across the globe until one fateful night. On February 14, 2013 (that’s Valentine’s day, folks) Pistorius’ model girlfriend was shot dead inside his home. He admitted to shooting her, but he claimed that he fired the shots because he thought she was an intruder. His story didn’t go very far with officials, and the following day Pistorius was charged with murder. His trial is scheduled to begin in March, so we won’t know his fate until the final verdict is handed down.
Bill Marolt, George Farmer, Mike
Hessel These three Olympians are grouped together because they all got busted together at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Marolt, a skier, and Farmer and Hessel, both tobogganists, were leaving a party together when they decided to hop in an unlocked car and go for a joyride. Call us crazy, but that probably wasn’t the smartest decision. Pictured above: Bill Marolt Anyway, the trio was stopped by police after they were seen driving the wrong way down a one-way street, and the incident escalated from there. Fighting words were exchanged, and then it turned physical. The three Olympians were arrested for attacking and insulting police officers and they were taken into custody. Turns out one of these guys didn’t learn their lesson; Bill Marolt was busted again in 2010 for drunk driving.
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