Athletes Who Indulge Their Dark Side: Sex, Drugs, and Cover-Ups

Athletes Who Indulge Their Dark Side: Sex, Drugs, and Cover-Ups

Athletes Who Indulge Their Dark Side: Sex, Drugs, and Cover-Ups

Athletes Who Indulge Their Dark Side: Sex, Drugs, and Cover-Ups


A leading psychologist explores the phenomenon of athletes across the sports world who engage in high-risk behavior that often destroys lives, bodies, and reputations.

• Comprises chapters on different categories of high-risk behavior among athletes

• Offers multiple footnotes and references in each chapter to works cited and resources for additional reading


Sports scandals have captured our interest for decades, and the public’s appetite for these stories is increasingly insatiable. We love sports, we thirst for sports news, and we are incurably attracted to the constant parade of celebrity athlete downfalls. the modern-day landscape has shifted in recent eras, and we now are drawn to sports stars’ off-the-field activities as much as we are drawn to what they do in the game. New scandals occur on an almost weekly basis featuring these athletes who cross the line, and the public is captivated by these incidents involving moral or legal transgressions.

In the context of intense media scrutiny and the “hero-ization” of gifted athletes, lapses in off-the-field behavior fuel constant headlines. These transgressions, many of them serious offenses, range from the illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs and other forms of cheating, to sexual misconduct, to gambling, to the illegal possession and use of weapons, and even to murder.

What prompts sports heroes to make pathologically self-destructive choices in crossing boundaries—choices that lead them to engage in activities that put their careers and their lives at risk? What goes on inside the minds of corrupt athletes, when they cross society’s and sport’s boundaries? What allows them to operate with unbridled hubris? What creates the climate that encourages them to view themselves as being above the system, and to expect a free pass when their corrupt actions come to light? Why do so many celebrity sports stars indulge their dark side in off-the-field misbehavior?

Simply put, they do it because they feel they can! Because their acquired distorted self-image, as a result of fan adulation and being pumped up by the media, conditions them to believe that they can cross these boundaries with impunity. Their immense wealth and exaggerated status make them ill prepared for the need to cultivate and to protect their image.

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