For better or worse, athletes who achieve any measure of success live their lives on a pedestal. In order to achieve the measure of success necessary to occupy said pedestal, athletes must have mastered the art of dominating their opponents both mentally and physically. It involves a rare mix of talent, training, wisdom, and luck, and it often leads to a lifestyle where few will challenge their authority, either in or out of the sporting arena.
However, nobody can withstand their own unchallenged authority, and when an athlete suffers what may be an inevitable fall from grace, either due to their own lack of judgement or the crushing weight of the expectations placed upon them by the media and general public, their fall from the pedestal is often more dramatic than their ascent.
The following are five dramatic falls from grace in the sporting world that have shocked the general public and reminded the world that athletes, while occupying the pedestal, are subject to unimaginable pressures, temptations, and disillusions.