Sports superstardom can lift a person to dazzling heights. Instant fame, fortune and recognition comes with success. Sponsorship deals soon follow and before anyone has had a chance to take a breath, the world is saying their name and buying their products.
Everyone wants a piece of the latest phenomenon.
There is, however, another phenomenon often seen in international journalism. Build someone up to lofty heights of achievement and then once they're at the top of the mountain, begin the process of knocking them off until they reach the lowest valley.
Journalism loves train wrecks. Just look at the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohen and Kim Kardashian. The press will follow them simply to see them once again fall over or show a little more than they should.
In the sports world, this is no different. Just as journalists like to get that picture with the gold medal, they also like to see them at the press conference where they are crying, apologising and in a state of crisis.
The following slideshow will attest just a few examples of sportsmen who had it all only to fall from grace.