Addictions in Sports

Sport is a physical and mental activity. An athlete can have all the qualities and skills needed to succeed in a sport. However, if the person does not focus and ward off temptations, his or her attributes would not take them far.

In this list I will talk about male athletes that did not reach the expectations that were placed on them, letting their addictions destroy their true potencial.

Len Bias

Len Bias
Source: Undefeated ESPN (Instagram)

Bias had all the qualities to become a future NBA star, but two days after he was selected by the Boston Celtics in the second pick of the first round in the 1986 Draft, his life tragically ended from a cocaine overdose. The player never showed his talent in the biggest basketball competition of the world. The Celtics would have had a great team with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and a young Bias.

Chris Washburn, William Bedford y Roy Tarpley

Washburn, Bedford and Tarpley were other basketball players selected in the NBA Draft of 1986. The three athletes had a drug abuse problem.

Washburn was chosen by the Golden State Warrios in the pick Nº3, Bedford by the Phoenix Suns in the pick Nº6 and Tarpley by the Dallas Mavericks in the pick Nº7.

In 1999, Chris Washburn was banned for life from the NBA after failing three drug tests en three years, scoring just 222 points. William Bedford never took off, letting drugs destroy his career. In 1988, he entered a rehab center. Unfortunately, drug issues were still present, retiring from the league in 1993. Roy Tarpley was also banned from the NBA for drug and alcohol abuse, never reaching his full potential in the sport.

Iván Kaviedes

Iván Kaviedes
Source: Ivan Kaviedes (Instagram)

The ecuadorian football player had a bright future. At a young age, he became the top scorer in the world at club level, netting a surprising 43 goals playing for Sporting Club Emelec in 1998. After this accomplishment, Kaviedes was sold to Perugia (Italy). Sadly, he never managed to settle on any team, playing for a total of 18. Examples include Celta de Vigo and Real Valladolid in Spain, Puebla FC in Mexico, and Crystal Palace in England. He also represented Ecuador in two World Cups (Korea – Japan 2002 and Germany 2006).

The goalscorer had an addiction with drugs, disobeying coaches and team rules. Kaviedes admitted in an interview that he suffered from emotional instability. Nowadays, he is the owner of a football school «Santo Domingo IK9» after overcoming his addictions.

Tommy Morrison

Addictions in Sports: Tommy Morrison
Source: Title Boxing (Instagram)

Tommy «The Duke» Morrison was a boxer that was set to become one of the best heavyweights of his time. Unfortunately, addictions to alcohol, drugs, and women destroyed Tommy’s professional career.

The Duke began boxing at an early age, growing in an unstable family. During his professional career, he went 28 fights undefeated, losing his first match against Ray Mercer. In 1993, Morrison achieved the WBO belt, beating George Foreman. He was supposed to fight WBC Champion Lennox Lewis in 1994, but surprisingly lost to Michael Bentt in a warm-up fight, losing the chance to fight for the WBC belt. Morrison was diagnosed with HIV in 1996, retiring after this with a record of 48 victories, 3 losses y 1 tie. In 2013, he passed away from complications of his illness.

Paul Gascoigne

Addictions in Sports: Paul Gascoigne
Source: Paul Gascoigne (Instagram)

Gascoigne had all the qualities and skill to become the next football star, but alcohol and drugs prevented him of reaching the next level. He started playing at Newcastle United as a midfielder, later joining Tottenham Hotspur, SS Lazio, Rangers, among other. Gascoigne never quite shined, being inconsistent in the field. The only major trophy Paul won was the FA Cup with Tottenham in 1991. He represented England in Italy 1990 and the Euro 1996.

George Best

Addictions in Sports: George Best
Source: Manchester United (Instagram)

George Best could have become a football icon, however, dependence on alcohol and women destroyed his legacy and ended his brilliant career early. Best started playing professionally at Manchester United when he was only 17 years old, impressing everyone with his pace, control and skills on the pitch. He quickly became a star, winning titles in his first five years at the club, including 2 Football League First Division (Premier League) and the first European Cup (UEFA Champions League) of Manchester United, shining in the final against Benfica. He was selected as the best European player in 1968 (Golden Ball), and was the goalscorer of the Red Devils for various seasons.

His career started spiralling out of control in the next few years, all due to his alcohol and indiscipline, leaving the team in 1974. The attacker kept playing, but in inferior leagues and showing glimpses of his past glory. George Best passed away for complications in his liver in 2005.

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