The Most Wanted Sports Stars

The World's Most Wanted Sports Stars

They have it all: fame, jobs that pay them millions for playing a game they love, great bodies, a selection of the finest sports cars and the best romantic partners money can buy. The only things missing, of course, are more fame, more cars, more marriages and, naturally, more money.

There aren’t many people who realise how tough life can be for the world’s most famous sportspeople. Apart from living their lives under tremendous pressure to perform, many professional athletes struggle to keep up with the lifestyle of the billionaires, royalty, rock stars and mafiosi whose company they keep.

This is, perhaps, why so many sports stars are forced to turn to lives of crime, as they struggle to find ways to stay in form, make their million dollar pay cheques stretch until the end of the month, or just to keep their adrenalin levels up.

Here are some of the most famous sports stars to have spent time behind bars:

1. Mike Tyson

LAS VEGAS, UNITED STATES: Mike Tyson (L) is held back by police after his fight against Evander Holyfield 28 June for the WBA heavyweight champioship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Holyfield won on a disqualifiation at the end of the third round after Tyson bit Holyfield's ears. AFP PHOTO/JEFF HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)The fact that Mike Tyson was able to stay out of jail until his conviction for rape at the age of 25 is perhaps the most notable aspect of his criminal career. Iron Mike had been arrested 38 times by the time he turned 13, and spent the majority of his youth at a juvenile reform school, where his criminal tendencies were channelled into the sport of boxing.

Tyson spent 3 years in jail following his rape conviction, and celebrated his release by biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear during a comeback fight. Since retiring from boxing, the former world champion has reformed, and capitulated, on several occasions – most recently by spending a day in prison after being convicted of a drug possession felony.

2. OJ Simpson

Mug shot of O.J. Simpson. (Photo by Online USA, Inc.) Before launching into a life of crime, OJ Simpson was one of the greatest football players in the history of the NFL. Simpson set numerous records playing for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers before commencing a successful post-football career as a film star.

Not content with success in two highly prized fields of American culture, Simpson made the decision to become a courtroom celebrity by killing his wife and spending the next few years playing the innocent, falsely accused victim, in one of the most highly publicised trials in American history.

After managing to escape from his murder trial with his freedom intact, Simpson spent a decade in the shadows. In 2008 Simpson made the decision to set matters right, and arranged to have himself incarcerated for the foreseeable future, by robbing the Palace Station hotel and casino in Las Vegas of its sports memorabilia at gunpoint.

3. Jeff Gillooly

23 FEB 1994: TONYA HARDING OF THE UNITED STATES HAS HER NORMAL ASTHMA ATTACK WHILE WAITING FOR HER SCORES AFTER COMPETING IN THE TECHNICAL PROGRAM THE 1994 LILLEHAMMER WINTER OLYMPICS. Mandatory Credit: Pascal Rondeau/ALLSPORTWhilst not a sportsman himself, Jeff Gillooly belongs on sport’s most wanted list for his role in engineering one of the biggest scandals in the history of figure skating. Gillooly, better known as the husband of US figure skater Tonya Harding, was the brains behind the attack on Harding’s rival, Nancy Kerrigan, during the 1994 US Championships.

Hoping to eliminate the competition prior to the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, Gillooly paid an assailant to take out Kerrigan’s right leg with a club. This clever ploy ended with Kerrigan winning silver at the Olympics, Harding stripped of all her titles, and Gillooly spending two years in jail.

4. Kieron Fallon

LONDON - NOVEMBER 02: Jockey Kieron Fallon arrives at the Old Bailey on November 2, 2007 in London. Mr Fallon and five other people are on trial accused of conspiring to defraud the Betfair betting exchange. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)One of England’s most famous jockeys, Fallon appeared certain to follow his racing career up with a career as television psychic, after demonstrating an uncanny ability to predict the outcome of the races in which he participated.

However, the fraudulent nature of Fallon’s psychic talents, and the real source of his prescience, were laid bare when he predicted that he would come second in a race, and then promptly observed surrendering first place in the relevant race to do just that.

Fallon spent years on trial for this misdemeanour, but somehow evaded conviction. However, in true criminal style, Fallon soon found himself on the wrong side of the law once again after testing positive for banned substances prior to a race.

5. Marion Jones

WHITE PLAINS, NY - OCTOBER 5: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones speaks to the media outside a United States federal courthouse October 5, 2007 in White Plains, NY. Jones pleaded guilty to charges in connection with steroid use. (Photo by Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images)Marion Jones did her bit to represent the fairer sex in felonious sporting activities at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Jones caused a stir by winning 5 gold medals in track events at the Olympics, aided by her husband CJ Hunter, and his personal stash of tetrahydrogestrinone.

Jones hung onto her haul of Olympic gold medals until 2007, when she grew tired of lying about her doping habits to federal agents, and admitted to taking steroids during the Olympics. This resulted not only in the loss of her Olympic medals, but also of her freedom as she earned herself a landmark 6-month jail sentence for perjury.

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