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Donald Sterling and 20 Sports Figures Who Got Banned For Life

20 Sports Figures Who Were Banned For Life

Donald Sterling
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Donald Sterling just became the first owner in NBA history to get banned for life. After making horribly racist comments, Adam Silver really had no other choice.

But Sterling isn't the first sports figure to get banned from his/her sport. Here are 20 who were banned for life at some point.

20. Donald Sterling

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers
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20. Donald Sterling

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers

Especially considering the majority of their players are of African-American decent, the NBA wasn't going to put up with Sterling and his racist comments. The aging (former) owner is still fighting the league's decision, but he's basically as good as gone.

19. Chris Washburn

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
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19. Chris Washburn

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers

Washburn got the ax from the NBA back in 1989 after his third substance-abuse relapse.

18. John Drew

John Drew Action Portrait
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18. John Drew

John Drew Action Portrait

Drew was also kicked out of the NBA after several substance-abuse issues surrounding his addiction to cocaine.

17. Roy Tarpley

Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers
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17. Roy Tarpley

Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Tarpley, another NBA player, also received a lifetime ban due to substance-abuse problems. He attempted to sue after the league refused to reinstate him, but his efforts were unsuccessful.

16. Marge Schott

Marge Schott
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16. Marge Schott

Marge Schott

The infamous Reds owner was banned from MLB in 1996 after she made slurs against African Americans, Jews, Asians and homosexuals. She also made terrible statements involving Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

15. Ferguson Jenkins

Chicago Cubs
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15. Ferguson Jenkins

Chicago Cubs

Jenkins was banned in 1980 after getting busted with marijuana and cocaine at a Canadian customs search. He was later reinstated.

14. George Steinbrenner

Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees
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14. George Steinbrenner

Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees

The Boss got banned back in 1990 by Commissioner Fay Vincent after it was discovered he paid 40,000 to a private investigator to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield. Bud Selig reinstated Steinbrenner in 1993.

13. Art Schlichter

1979, OSU v Washington St. football action
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13. Art Schlichter

1979, OSU v Washington St. football action

Not only was Schlichter a waste of the fourth pick in the 1982 NFL Draft, but he was also part of an illegal sports betting operation that eventually cost him his spot in the league. He was never reinstated, but did make a short appearance in the CFL.

12. Jack Molinas

Jack Molinas
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12. Jack Molinas

Jack Molinas

Molinas was found to have taken a significant part in a point shaving scandal that rocked the college basketball world. Even though he wasn't in school when he was finally caught, the NBA took it upon themselves to drop the hammer.

11. Dexter Manley

Superbowl XXII - Redskins v Broncos
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11. Dexter Manley

Superbowl XXII - Redskins v Broncos

Despite his success in the NFL, Manley was never able to overcome his addiction to cocaine. After testing positive for the drug four times, the league was forced to lock him out for life.

10. Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson Starts
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10. Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson Starts

Once considered the fastest man in the world, Johnson watched two of his records striped after testing positive for a banned substance following the 1988 Summer Olympics. After testing positive again in 1993, the International Association of Athletics Federations banned him for life.

9. Mickey Mantle

BRONX, NY - 1968:  Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees watches the flight of the ball as he follows through on a swing during a game at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York in 1968.  (Photo by Louis Requena /MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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9. Mickey Mantle

BRONX, NY - 1968:  Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees watches the flight of the ball as he follows through on a swing during a game at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York in 1968.  (Photo by Louis Requena /MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Mick was banned from baseball? That's right, it happened in 1983 after he was hired by an Atlantic City casino. Obviously his playing days were well over by then, and he was eventually reinstated two years later.

8. Chris Andersen

Chris Birdman Anderson
USA Today Sports

8. Chris Andersen

Chris Birdman Anderson

The Birdman was banned in 2006 for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy. He filed a grievance and it took him two years to get back in the league.

7. Connie Hawkins

Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks
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7. Connie Hawkins

Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Hawkins got banned because of a point shaving scandal during his college days in 1961. He was formally banned in 1966 and was out of the game until 1969 when the dispute was settled.

6. Steve Howe

STEVE HOWE YANKEES
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6. Steve Howe

STEVE HOWE YANKEES

After receiving seven suspensions from MLB for drug use, Howe eventually got banned for life in 1992. The ban was overturned shortly thereafter, but at one point he was completely out of the game.

5. Willie Mays

2004 National Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend -  Induction Ceremonies - July 25, 2004
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5. Willie Mays

2004 National Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend -  Induction Ceremonies - July 25, 2004

Just like Mantle, the great Willie Mays was banned in 1983 for working with a casino in Atlantic City. He too was reinstated in 1985.

4. Tonya Harding

US FIGURE SKATE
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4. Tonya Harding

US FIGURE SKATE

After her husband paid a "hitman" to take out rival Nancy Kerrigan's knee, Harding would end up becoming one of the most infamous figure skaters of all time. The two would compete in 1994 Winter Olympics, where Kerrigan would smoke Harding in the final standings despite her recent injury. Harding's connection to the attack was eventually discovered, which forced the U.S. Figure Skating Association to ban her from competition for life.

3. Pete Rose

Pete Rose-Kelvin Kuo-USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

3. Pete Rose

Pete Rose-Kelvin Kuo-USA Today Sports

Rose is probably the name people most closely associate with lifetime bans. As of the writing of this article, he's been banned from MLB for 15 years. All four of his reinstatement requests have been denied.

2. Eight Players From the 1919 Chicago Black Sox

1919 World Series
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2. Eight Players From the 1919 Chicago Black Sox

1919 World Series

'Shoeless' Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Lefty Williams, Chick Gandil, Fred McMullin, Swede Risberg, Happy Felsch and Buck Weaver were all banned from MLB after throwing the 1919 World Series.

1. Lance Armstrong

Tour of Ireland - Stage Three
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1. Lance Armstrong

Tour of Ireland - Stage Three

Arguably the biggest banishment in sports history, Armstrong was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency discovered a truckload of evidence against the once-legendary cyclist. In a matter of minutes, Armstrong went from an inspiration hero to one of the most disgraced athletes of all time. He's no longer allowed to compete or even take part in any official activity related to the sport.