They are the idols of people everywhere. They serve as role models for the young who dream of becoming as successful as they are. They are physical specimens that have been blessed with ample skills and talent. They get paid by the millions to play the games that they love. People will hang on to every word they say, as if they were the most articulate and intelligent people on the planet. Women fawn over them and would line up just to have a date with them. They also become sought-after figures in the advertising world as companies fight each other just to make them their brand ambassadors. And with these endorsements come even more money.
So with all this fame and fortune, why risk it by cheating? Whether through the use of performance-enhancing drugs or by two-timing the wife, some athletes start to feel that they are above everybody else and can do whatever they please. And when they are finally caught, all they need to do is wave a wad of money to get people off their case. Here is a list of the top 10 athletes who paid lots of money after being caught cheating.
10 Shaquille O’Neal – $20,000 Per Month, Lifetime
9 Marion Jones – $1 Million
Everyone loved Marion Jones when she won five medals - including three golds - in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. However, allegations of the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) followed her soon after. She initially vehemently denied using, but in 2007, her lying and cheating finally caught up with her. She was jailed for six months and lost a million dollars in endorsements. Her house was also foreclosed. She tried to make a comeback through the WNBA, but only managed to play two seasons.
8 Ryan Braun – $6.2 Million
Ryan Braun was the complete baseball player. He could hit for power and for average, he could run, he could field and he had an amazing arm. He was considered as one of the 50 best players of 2012. He even won an MVP award in 2011. Sadly, he also took PEDs. He was probably talented enough to be a star even without the drugs, but a desire to further improve himself is what did him in. He was suspended for 100 games until next season and stands to lose $6.2 million.
7 Hulk Hogan – $7.44 Million
Terry Bollea is not a traditional athlete, but as professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, he does have some moves that would be the envy of sports stars everywhere. He was married for 26 years to his wife, and amazingly still cheated on her. Even more amazing was that he had an affair with his wife’s friend. Hogan had to give up his $3 million property to his wife, as well as several luxury cars, 40 percent of his businesses, and 70 percent of their liquid assets.
6 Manny Ramirez – $8 Million
5 Jeff Gordon – $9 Million
4 Alex Rodriguez – $32.7 Million
3 Lance Armstrong – $75 Million
2 Tiger Woods – $122 Million
1 Michael Jordan – $150 Million
Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. He won six NBA rings, several MVP honors, Defensive Player of the Year awards, Slam Dunk Championships, and Olympic gold medals. He had lucrative endorsement deals with various sponsors. In 1989, just as his fame was shooting up, he married Juanita Vanoy, but it didn’t take long for Jordan to cheat. By 1991, he reportedly had to pay $250,000 to a mistress so that she would keep quiet about his affair. In 2006, his divorce paper was finalized, and he was ordered to pay his ex-wife $150 million.