Professional footballers have millions of fans dying to meet them. These elite athletes are also considered super lucky due to the kind of money they make. However, the life of soccer players isn’t as smooth a sail as most of us think of. They have a lot of pressure to:
- Look hot as hell
- Incredibly fit
- Play extremely well to be able to maintain soaring expectations of their fans
- Follow strict dietary requirements
- Follow a very strict fitness regime
- Work hard on field and off field
- Maintain health and fitness both on and off season
This is also the reason modern game scenario does not spot players drinking or smoking heavily. It is really scandalous for any player to be spotted like this. All of the athletes are scrutinized heavily and any suspicious action is heavily condemned.
Unfortunately, soccer players aren’t perfect. They are humans and to err is human. Hence, it is no wonder many of these stars have been caught doing drugs, others failed drug test, and some took to a lifestyle that lead to their professional and personal disaster.
In almost all cases, professional footballers must take semi-regular 'random' drugs tests. These are conducted at a very high level. Some of the international players are even tested on a weekly basis. Failure in one of these tests induces hefty ban from the game. Some are even sacked by employers.
Listed below are top footballers caught doing drugs:
1. Edgar Davids
The 42 year old footballer retired from professional football in the year 2014. His career was ended as player-manager of humble English team Barnet. Davids’ career was threatened in 2001 after being tested positive for Nandrolone, the banned steroid. This was during his spell at Juventus. Although this Dutch midfielder was anticipated a 16-month ban missing World Cup2002, Davids appealed against the ruling which led to a relief in punishment of around 4 months. He fought for suspension cancellation and blamed homeopathic medicines for higher levels of nandrolone within his system.
2. Jake Livermore
This high profile player was banned for taking drugs. Livermore was tested positive for cocaine in May 2016 and suspended from the game for the rest of the season of Premier League. Presently, the case is ongoing. The 25 year old player earned one England cap in the year 2012. Later, he joined club permanently for around £8 million in 2014 from Tottenham Hotspur. However, he faces potential risk of being sacked from the relegated club in case, further investigation proves his Class A drug abuse.
3. Abel Xavier
This footballer grabbed many eyeballs for his crazy beard and hairstyles. His 18-month ban for taking the infamous anabolic steroids made him earn a bad name. The defender for Portuguese international was tested positive for dianabol, the banned substance while playing for Middlesbrough (English side).
4. Chris Armstrong
At 23, this Crystal Palace player was tested positive for cannabis. This was back in March, 1995. This made Armstrong the first ever Premier League player who failed drug test and received a ban. He attended a brief rehabilitation programme and made a return to pitch within a month. He also signed Tottenham Hotspur for £4.5 million the same year, succeeding relegation of Crystal Palace to old First Division.
5. Gerard Kinsella
This midfielder from Fleetwood Town was banned from the game for around two years in the year 2013 after being tested positive for anabolic steroid. He was 21 at the time. Till date, he maintains that steroid usage wasn’t deliberate. According to Kinsella, he received it as an injection innocently for pain relief from chronic shoulder injury. Later on, Kinsella was permitted to resume training with the football club.
6. Diego Maradona
This high-profile case of a footballer came into highlight after he was banned for drugs. The legend of Argentina was banned from the game in the year 1991. Maradona was test positive for cocaine while playing for Napoli in Italy. Serving 15-month ban, this most adored player left the club in disgrace. In 1994, he was again banned from the game because he failed the drug test for ephedrine doping. Maradona played two games in that tournament (World Cup) prior to being sent home.