The Top Career-Killers for Athletes
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The Top Career-Killers for Athletes

Athletes can appear to be untouchable sometimes. They are hailed as heroes for their skills, even though they can be criticized a lot too.

In their personal lives, it seems that many things are allowed to slide when it comes to holding them accountable. However, there are also many times when misbehavior from athletes has led to the end of their career.

Things that athletes have done both while at work and in their personal lives have colored the public’s opinion of them and how high-ups view them too. These are some of the top career-enders that could befall athletes.


An injury is usually not the fault of the athlete, but it can nonetheless affect their career. Many are able to return after an injury, even if it’s a fairly serious one.

However, not everyone is so lucky, and some injuries prevent people from doing their sport professionally ever again.

A bad injury can prevent them from performing well or could even stop them from continuing with their sport at all if it’s too dangerous to do so. While it can be devastating, an injury has the possibility of putting an end to an athlete’s career earlier than expected.

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A criminal conviction is not necessarily a career-ender for an athlete. However, it can be a huge problem for many. After receiving a conviction, it can make them persona non grata among managers, coaches, and talent scouts, as well as sponsors.

Athletes are often able to hire a good criminal defense attorney to help them avoid criminal convictions, but it’s not always possible for them to escape the consequences of their actions. Even if not ultimately convicted, being arrested and charged with a crime could affect their reputation and disrupt their career too.

Drug Use

It’s hardly a secret that many athletes may dabble in drugs, both recreationally and to enhance their performance. Of course, it’s frowned upon at best and illegal at worst, and can get them disqualified from their sport.

Nevertheless, athletes do get caught out using steroids or other drugs and it can be damaging to their careers. It might be less serious if they’re using drugs in their personal time, but dealing with an addiction could also affect how they are viewed by both professionals and fans.

However, it’s using performance enhancers that can often get them into the most trouble and end their careers.

Cheating and Fixing

If there’s one thing that’s always frowned upon in sport, it’s cheating. Aside from performance-enhancing drugs, there are other types of cheating that athletes might engage in.

Trying to cheat or fix results for any game, match, or competition is definitely not viewed lightly, especially when there might be some kind of monetary or other gain for the athlete.

While some minor things that could be regarded as cheating may be forgiven, it’s difficult to come back from a proper cheating scandal.

Athletes’ careers can often survive a lot, but there are things that can end them, especially if they don’t have the talent to let them get away with more.


Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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