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25 Athletes Who Can't Outrun Their Pasts

Cam Newton

Cam Newton

The Carolina Panthers QB is on the fast track to becoming the MVP of the league this year and headlines this year's Super Bowl. Let’s take it back to 2008, though. While serving as the backup quarterback at the University of Florida, Newton stole a student’s computer, which was worth $1,700. When the authorities came to his dorm room to investigate, he tossed it out of his window. Newton was charged with grand theft, burglary, and obstructing justice. He was forced to attend a pre-trial intervention before the charges were dropped. Come on, Cam.

Von Miller

Von Miller

This sneaky, sneaky Pro Bowl linebacker tried to corrupt the NFL’s drug-testing program by swapping out urine samples. According to a source, Miller almost got away with it, except he wasn’t in town when the actual testing took place. “He’s fast, but he’s not that fast,” the source said. Miller was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. "A" for effort though, right?

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Josh Norman

Josh Norman

In 2013, Josh Norman drove around while his pregnant ex-girlfriend was on top of the car. Yes, you read that correctly. In one of the crazier domestic dispute cases involving an NFL player, it all started when he flew the girlfriend to Atlanta because he wanted to have her pregnancy aborted. She wasn’t having any of it, and an epic argument ensued that resulted in her climbing on top of his car in an attempt to prevent him from driving away.

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Adam “Pacman” Jones

Adam “Pacman” Jones

Geez, where do we even start with this guy? If you follow football at all, you know the Cincinnati Bengals cornerback has been in some trouble. One of the most recent incidents was when he slapped a girl at a bar during the offseason. The irony is that for the past two offseasons, he has advised rookies on how not to get in trouble in the NFL. Maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.

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Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback has been accused of rape TWICE. The first incident ended in a settlement, and no charge came from the second. But still, that’s a little sketchy, Ben.

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Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy

A Dallas Cowboys defensive end and all-around terrible person, Greg Hardy beat his girlfriend and was arrested in 2014. This past November, the photos from the incident were released, which contained graphic and unsettling content. The charges were eventually expunged from his record.

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Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

Tampa Bay’s #1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft was accused of rape during his freshman year of college, which was well documented by the media and social media. Just recently, Winston’s party and the accuser reached a settlement in which the accuser received over $900,000.

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Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith, an Oakland Raiders’ outside linebacker, has a laundry list of off-the-field issues, including a drunk driving arrests, a bomb threat, hit-and-run, vandalism charges and more. Trouble seems to follow this former Pro Bowler.

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Louis Murphy

Louis Murphy

Louis Murphy isn't the most well-known NFL player, but his battle with the law has placed him in the spotlight. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver was confronted by police for blaring his music and refusing to show his ID, but what got him arrested was the unsubscribed bottle of Viagra that authorities found. Keep in mind, this guy isn’t even 30 years old yet. What’s going on down there, dude? Actually, never mind, we don’t want to know.

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Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is a NFL MVP, Pro Bowler, Super Bowl champion, future Hall of Famer and the ultimate gentlemen. But, once upon a time, he did something kind of odd. During his days in college at Tennessee, he allegedly rubbed his, erm, “manhood”, on a trainer's face while she was examining his injured foot, which he claims was just a prank. The trainer eventually received a settlement of $300,000 from the university as a result of this incident and similar run-ins.

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Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

Seven-time Tour de France winner, cancer activist, and once-considered greatest cyclist in history, Lance Armstrong was an inspiration to people across the globe. Now, Armstrong is the poster boy for the doping epidemic that plagues professional athletes. Armstrong denied it for years but admitted to cheating in January 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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Floyd Landis

Floyd Landis

Following Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace, his former teammate Floyd Landis quickly took over his spot in the cycling spotlight. Four days after winning the Tour de France, Tour officials announced that a sample of his urine had synthetic testosterone traces. Landis became the first Tour de France champion to be stripped of his title because of a failed drug test.

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O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson

Easily the most widely known scandal on this list, O.J. Simpson’s murder trial will always be hailed as the trial of the century. Simpson was arrested in 1994 and charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The trial was easily one of the most publicized legal proceedings in history.

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Ray Rice

Ray Rice

In early 2014, Rice and his then-fiancée were involved in an early morning dispute in an elevator at the Atlantic City casino in New Jersey. Within a month, Rice was indicted by an Atlantic City grand jury on a third-degree aggravated assault charge. He then married his wife the next day and faced a two-game suspension. By September, Rice’s contract with the Ravens was terminated.

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Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson

Tyson’s trouble began in 1992 when Tyson was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in jail with four years of parole, though he only served a little under three of his six-year sentence. Tyson returned to the boxing ring, but more controversy struck in 1997. During a match with Evander Holyfield, Tyson bit off a one-inch piece of his Holyfield’s right ear.

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Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods drove his car off the road and suffered some minor injuries, but those injuries were nothing compared to the storm he would face in the coming months. Within days, several women stepped forward to claim they’d been involved in extramarital affairs with Woods, and after severe pressure, Woods admitted to his infidelity.

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Michael Vick

Michael Vick

Atlanta Falcons quarterback was the highest-paid and one of the most loved players in the NFL, though his image was forever tainted when it was revealed that he had a role in a dog fighting ring that was discovered on a property he owned in Virginia. Vick lost his NFL salary and endorsement deals and was convicted of federal dogfighting conspiracy charges. Vick served just 18 months in prison.

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Tonya Harding

Tonya Harding

An attack on Harding’s rival Nancy Kerrigan almost ruined two careers instead of just one. The attacker? A hitman hired by Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt. Due to her ties with them, Harding was suspected of also having a hand in the hired hit of her rival. She only pled guilty to “conspiracy to hinder prosecution” after her Olympics run in 1994.

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Pete Rose

Pete Rose

Pete Rose was a prolific baseball player and manager for the Cincinnati Reds. He was awarded several major baseball awards...at least until his betting scandal came to light. Rose was found guilty of betting on the Cincinnati Reds, an action that’s explicitly prohibited. Rose faced a lifetime ban from the game in 1989

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Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose

Another Rose makes the list, this one with just as many thorns. Similar to the Bryant case many years prior, in 2016 NBA star Derrick Rose and two others were going to court to face a $21.5 million lawsuit that accused them of raping Rose’s ex-girlfriend back in 2013. The three men were eventually found not liable, but the damage to his reputation was done.

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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

The scandal lovingly referred to as ‘deflategate’ is one of the larger sports scandals in recent memory. The New England Patriots allegedly under-inflated footballs to secure a win against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 AFC championship game. Brady was suspended for four games. The team was fined $1 million and had two of their draft picks taken away.

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Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

Johnson was a Canadian sprinter who completely obliterated his opponents at the ’88 Olympics. Johnson set a new world record for the 100-meter dash of 9.79 seconds and took home the gold. No more than 48-hours later, it was stripped away. The reason? He tested positive for stanozolol, a type of steroid.

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Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds was always suspected of using a little chemical boost to up his success in baseball, even long before any evidence was found to show the connection. Then, his athletic trainer Greg Anderson pled guilty to providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. He never specifically said Bonds, but it was enough to take Bonds to court. The case was declared a mistrial.

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Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush

USC’s star running back Reggie Bush, eventually went on to help the team secure several titles and landed him the 2005 Heisman trophy. He wasn’t a pro yet, but he was on the path to be a legend. Until allegations surfaced, accusing his family receiving improper benefits of almost $300,000 in gifts. USC was stripped of their 2004 BCS Title, and Bush was forced to return the Heisman, the first player in NFL history to do so.

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Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

In 2003, Bryant was accused of raping an employee at the hotel he’d been staying in preparation for knee surgery in Colorado. Bryant initially denied the claims that an encounter had even occurred. He changed his tune and said there had been an encounter, but he’d believed it to be consensual. Criminal charges were dropped, but a separate civil case was settled out of court.

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