Tiger Woods' DUI arrest just the latest in a list of fallen sports stars

Tiger Woods was arrested on May 29, 2017 in Florida on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Tiger Woods was arrested on May 29, 2017 in Florida on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

SINGAPORE - News of Tiger Woods' arrest for driving under the influence was the latest in a string of setbacks for the American golf star, once regarded as not just the game but an international sports icon.

The 14-time Major champion and former world No. 1 has looked a pale shadow of his former self as he struggles to recapture his glory days.

The Straits Times looks at other fallen sports stars whose legacy have been tainted.

Lance Armstrong (cycling)

Diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996, the American fought it off and was declared cancer-free in February 1997. Two years later, he won the Tour de France for the first time and added another six straight titles, becoming the most successful cyclist in the event's history. 


Lance Armstrong (right) arrive to participate in the Circuit of the Americas bike night on April 18, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

He retired in 2011 but was later found guilty of doping by the United States Anti-Doping agency and stripped of his seven Tour titles.

Maria Sharapova (Tennis)

Maria Sharapova at the ATP Tennis Open tournament at the Foro Italico in Rome on May 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

At the age of 17, the Russian captured her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2004. She would win another four Slams (2006 US Open, 2008 Australian Open, 2012 & 2014 French Open) and is one of only 10 women to hold the career Grand Slam. The former world No. 1 tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open and was banned for 15 months. She returned to tennis in April 2017 and is now ranked 178th.

Marion Jones (athletics)

Marion Jones (right) during the women's 100m race at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. PHOTO: ST FILE

One of the biggest stars at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the American won five track and field medals, finishing with golds in the 100m, 200m, 4x400m and bronzes in the long jump and 4x100m. Those medals were stripped from her when it was later revealed she used performance-enhancing drugs. She spent six months in jail for lying to federal investigators about her doping history.

Oscar Pistorius (para-athletics)

Dubbed the "Blade Runner", Pistorius was probably the most famous Paralympian and won six golds across the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic games. At the 2012 London edition, he became the first amputee runner to compete at a Summer Games. He shot and killed his girlfriend South African model Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria on Valentines Day 2013 and later received a five-year prison sentence.

Tonya Harding (figure skating)

Tonya Harding at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics in Norway. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

The two-time Olympian won the 1991 US Figure Skating Championships and finished second at the World Championships the same year. She was the second woman, and the first American, to complete a triple axel jump in competition. Her rival Nancy Kerrigan was cracked in the knee by an associate of Harding with a police baton just weeks before the start of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, where both were due to compete. Harding later admitted to some involvement in the incident via ex-husband Jeff Gillooly. She plead guilty to conspiracy to hinder the prosecution of Kerrigan's attackers and was sentenced to probation and 500 hours of community service.

Park Tae Hwan (swimming)

China's Sun Yang (left) comforts South Korea's Park Tae Hwan after the men's 1500m freestyle final at the 17th Asian Games in 2014. PHOTO: ST FILE

The multiple Olympic medallist with one gold and three silver medals from the 2008 and 2012 Games was the star of swimming in Asia. He also won six golds at the Asian Games. Prior to the 2014 Asiad, the South Korean tested positive for testosterone and was handed an 18 month ban. He eventually took his case to Court of Arbitration for Sport which ruled in his favour and allowed him to compete in the 2016 Rio Games, where he swam poorly and did not win any medals.