Boris Becker was sentenced to two and a half years in prison at Southwark Crown Court / Picture Credit: Mark Thomas/Alamy Stock Photo
Boris Becker was sentenced to two and a half years in prison at Southwark Crown Court / Picture Credit: Mark Thomas/Alamy Stock Photo

Grand Slam champion Boris Becker, 54, has been jailed for two and a half years.

The former Wimbledon champion was found to have deliberately transferred money to family, friends and associates back in 2017 despite being declared bankrupt, allowing him to keep £390,000 and the proceeds of a bank loan, worth over a million pounds from his creditors.

He also failed to declare ownership of a property in Germany worth £1 million, as well as £75,000 in shares held in a tech firm.

Despite enjoying a sporting fortune worth £38 million, Becker was made bankrupt after an expensive divorce, combined with child maintenance and his luxury lifestyle.

Presiding over the case in Southwark Crown Court was Judge Deborah Taylor, who said that she accepted "the humiliation" Becker faced when bankruptcy was imposed, but said there was a lack of "humility".

Hearing about Becker’s prison term got us thinking, which other sports stars has there been that have gone from the bright lights of stardom, to the dim and dismal confines of a jail cell?

Oscar Pistorius

On Valentine's Day (February 14th) 2013, Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius was arrested in connection with the death of his then-girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius maintained that he had only shot Steenkamp because he had mistaken her for a home invader, at their home in South Africa, but prosecution argued that his prior behaviour and aggression was just a part of proving that he had premeditated her killing.

After a gruelling seven months, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide and served a year in prison, before being released to house arrest. That conviction was later overturned by an appeals court, with Pistorius' guilty charge being upped to murder after a second trial. The resulting sentence was 13 years behind bars. He's eligible for parole in March 2023.

Darryl Henley

After turning professional in 1989, star cornerback at UCLA Darry Henley must have thought that the sky was the limit. He was drafted the Los Angeles Rams and was in the starting line-up for six years, but in 1995, he was named as one of the four defendants convicted in a cocaine trafficking case.

Though he said he was only financing the criminal activity of a childhood friend, he did convince a jail guard to smuggle him a cell phone whilst behind bars, awaiting sentencing. He used that phone to hire a hit man to kill not only a Rams cheerleader who had testified against him, but the judge who had presided over his trial.

Those $100,000 jobs didn't come through, as agents had been secretly recording Henley in his cell. New charges were launched against the sports star in the summer of 1996 and, as part of a plea deal, he admitted to two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of bribing a guard. He was sentenced to 41 years with no chance of parole.

Chad Curtis

Winning two World Series rings with the New York Yankees baseball team in 1998 and 1999, Chad Curtis would enjoy retirement from professional sport by lending his time to work at various high schools from 2011. As a volunteer strength trainer, he offered massages to some of the female athletes.

Three girls, between the ages of 13 and 16, would later come forward and say that those massages became sexual in nature, accusing Curtis of fondling them whilst engaging as a masseuse.

A judge came to the conclusion that Curtis was indeed guilty, sentencing him to seven to 14 years behind bars which meant that his earliest release date would be September 2020. Although he never admitted guilt in the case, he was still released from prison on that day and, when a reporter asked him if he had any messages for his victims following release, he said "not at this point".

Mark Rogowski

Bringing mainstream attention to the sport of skateboarding was no easy feat but, Mark Rogowski was amongst the likes of Tony Hawk in doing so. Unfortunately, the wild lifestyle that followed him proved to be too much to deny, leading to him spending much of his yearly six-figure earnings from the age of 17 on drinking, partying and eventual destruction.

Things got darker when in 1991, following the breakdown of his relationship with his girlfriend, he ran into a friend of the ex who he hadn't seen for some time. Jessica Bergsten was severely beaten by Rogowski, who also sexually assaulted her before strangling her to death. He left her body in a surfboard bag before burying her in the California desert.

Rogowski said that Bergsten reminded him too much of his ex and was sentenced to 31 years to life. He's now eligible for parole but, was denied it in 2011 and 2016. In late 2019, he was granted parole but, that decision was reversed in 2020.

Esteban Loaiza

No baseball team is complete without a solid pitcher, and Esteban Loaiza filled that gap over his 14-year career, for eight teams, amassing nearly 1,400 strikeouts. It was in 2003 when most would take notice, as he joined the Chicago White Sox before making an All Star game selection and, coming second in Cy Young Award voting.

Just a few years ago however, in February 2018, a secret compartment was found in Loaiza's minivan by deputies in San Diego County. They realised that this would be the perfect spot to transport contraband and so, obtained a search warrant for his home in Imperial Beach, California. Upon entry, it was clear that it was a stash house, containing around 40 pounds of cocaine rather than regular furniture.

Loaiza would plead guilty to the felony counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and, a judge sentenced him in March 2018 to three years in prison, with five years of probation and deportation back to his birth country of Mexico upon completion of that sentence.

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