So Lance Armstrong is finally going to admit he doped. While that’s hardly a shock at this point, it’s still a huge sports and human interest story. As the world watches him open up to Oprah tomorrow night, perhaps he will feel better knowing that he’s hardly the only drug cheat. Witness these 10 jocks who won their sports’ biggest titles but were linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Hope the glory, chicks and piles of cash were worth it, fellas.
Floyd Landis American cyclist Landis won the Tour de France in 2006. Four years later, he admitted to using PEDs most of his career and was stripped of his title. Ironically, one of Landis’s special skills as a rider was “descending.”
Alex Rodriguez In 2009, A-Rod won a World Series ring with the Yankees. Earlier that year, after previously denying using PEDs to 60 Minutes, A-Rod admitted using steroids from about 2001 to 2003. No wonder he was recently voted baseball’s “phoniest” player in Sports Illustrated.
Diego Maradona Many consider the 5’5” Argentine the greatest soccer player of all time (yes, even better than Alexi Lalas). He was at the peak of his powers in 1986, when he captained Argentina to a World Cup title and tallied five goals. But at the 1994 World Cup, Maradona was sent home after failing a drug test for ephedrine doping. He has claimed a trainer picked up the wrong diet drink. Verdaaad.
Rodney Harrison Before he was a mediocre analyst for NBC, Harrison was a two-time Super Bowl-winning safety for the New England Patriots. But in 2007, Harrison was suspended four games without pay for using human growth hormone (HGH). The two-time Pro Bowler was also fined more than $200,000 for aggressive play during his career. Seems like a guy ready for primetime football commentary, no?
Ben Johnson A PED-using pioneer from Canada, Johnson torched his competition (including Carl Lewis) in the 100-meter dash at the 1988 Summer Olympics, setting a new world record of 9.79. Three days later, he was disqualified for taking an anabolic steroid. Side note: you might be wondering how Canada produced such a fast guy, steroids aside. Explanation: Johnson was born in Jamaica.
Alberto Contador A Spanish cyclist known as one of the sport’s greatest climbers, Contador won the Tour in 2007 and 2009. But like almost every many a cyclist, his career has been marred by drug allegations. He won the 2010 TDF, only to be stripped of this title after being found guilty of doping.
Manny Ramirez Ramirez won two World Series championships with the Red Sox and was the Series MVP in 2004. But in 2009 he was suspended 50 games for taking a women’s fertility drug, and in 2011, he again violated MLB’s drug policy, pretty much ending his career. Hey, at least the Sox squeezed two titles out of Manny being Manny.
Justin Gatlin This American speedster won gold in the men’s 100 meters in 2004 in Athens, and he picked up a silver and a bronze recently in London. But in 2006, he tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended for four years from track and field. Still, we like this guy because he’s in his 30s and still super, super fast.
Andy Pettitte This three-time All-Star won five World Series crowns with the Yankees. In 2007 he admitted to using human growth hormone earlier in his career. He was also in the news recently for not totally remembering the details around Roger Clemens’ HGH use, on second thought. But he’s devoutly Christian so we totally believe him.
Lance Armstrong You know the story. Survived testicular cancer. Won a record seven Tour de France titles. Started the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which has raised more than $470 million for cancer research. Then the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced it was banning him for life and stripping him of his TDF wins for using steroids and blood doping. For millions of people around the world, he’s still a hero. But officially, he’s also now a cheater.