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5 Famous athletes who received a lifetime ban from their sport

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Dexter Mainley
5 Famous athletes who received a lifetime ban from their sport. Photo/ NHL.com.
  • Getting banned is not a strange occurrence in sports, as many athletes have been banned for life. 
  • An athlete can be banned from their sport for different reasons, such as racial comments, drug abuse and doping scandals. 
  • In most cases, an athlete is given a chance to change her behaviour and appeal their sentence before being completely banned. 

Getting banned is not a strange occurrence in sports. There are many athletes who have been banned for life from their sport. 

An athlete can be banned from their sport for different reasons, such as racial comments, drug abuse and doping scandals. 

In most cases, an athlete is given a chance to change her behaviour and appeal their sentence before being completely banned. And for that reason, it is not common to hear an athlete banned for life nowadays. 

However, it tends to be big news when an athlete is banned even for a few years. This article looks at the most famous athletes banned for life and the reason for their banishment. 

1. Dexter Mainley

Dexter Mainley

Dexter Mainley. Photo/ NFL.com.

Dexter Mainley is a perfect example of an athlete who has been given an opportunity to rectify his mistakes before being banned for life. 

Dexter, a two-time Super Bowl champion, tested positive for cocaine for the third time in 1989. As a result, he was given a lifetime ban from NHL

However, he had the chance to appeal his ban after one year. He won the appeal and continued playing in the NHL. 

Dexter Mainley would later fail another drug test resulting in his removal from the league completely. 

2. Billy Coutu 

Billy Coutu was an NHL player famous for starting fights. In 1927, he received a lifetime ban after starting a bench clearing brawl. 

Billy started the fight by attacking the match’s referees, Billy Bell and Jerry Laflamme. The incident happened during his team’s fourth game of the Stanley Cup Finals. 

When being interrogated, Billy Coutu said he began the fight after being instructed by his coach Art Ross. Nevertheless, he was never allowed to play at the top level again. 

Billy Coutu is the only NHL player to receive a lifetime ban from the sport. 

3. Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson. Photo/ Yahoo Sports.

Ben Johnson was, at one point, the fastest man in the world. During the 1987 World Championships, Ben set a new record in the 100-metre race. 

He would break his own record one year later at the Summer Olympics. Johnson’s wins in 1987 and 1988 led to him being tested for doping.  

The Canadian track and field athlete was found to be using steroids hence boosting his performance during events. 

When questioned, Ben Johnson said that it should not be seen as a big deal since nearly all top athletes use steroids to enhance performance. 

He was banned for life from any track and field event, and his medals and world records were stripped. 

4. Lance Armstrong 

Lance Armstrong, one of the famous athletes banned for life, was a force to reckon with in cycling in the early 2000s. 

He is widely regarded as one of the greatest cyclists of all time due to his consecutive victory in the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005.

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong. Photo/ The New York Times.

Things suddenly turned sour for Lance Armstrong in 2012 when he was stripped of his titles and given a lifetime ban. This was after the United States Doping Agency discovered that Armstrong had used steroids since he began cycling. 

As you would expect, Lance Armstrong denied the fact that he had been using steroids in his career. 

5. Pete Rose 

Pete Rose is not a strange name in the sporting world. This is because he was one of the best baseball players and coaches. 

He won three World Series while playing for Cincinnati Reds and boasts 4,256 career hits. 

In 1989, Pete Rose was accused of placing a bet against the team he was managing, the Cincinnati Reds. He received a lifetime ban from baseball despite denying the allegations. 

In 2004, Pete Rose admitted that he used to place bets while he was a member of the Cincinnati Reds. However, he still denied placing a bet against the Reds.

Pete Rose

Pete Rose. Photo/ Sportsnet.

Rose is illegible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but the ban has made it impossible for induction. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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