Athletes are human and make mistakes, sometimes it may be a case of simply not playing or trying hard enough and not meeting the expectations of the fans to getting caught cheating.
For example, disgraced Australian cricketer, Steve Smith, broke down in tears in front of cameras and millions of people when he apologised for the ball tampering scandal which was exposed during a test match with South Africa.
Briefly.co.za put together this list of athletes who had to say sorry with the help of the citizen.co.za.
1. Gianluigi Buffon 2017
Fans were outraged when Italy failed to qualify for the Soccer World Cup for the first time since 1958. The incident was dubbed an "apocalypse" by the Italian press.
“I’m not sorry for myself but all of Italian football,” an inconsolable team captain Gianluigi Buffon said after the Azzuri missed out on qualification for the 2018 edition in Russia. “We failed at something which also means something on a social level. There’s regret at finishing like that, not because time passes.”
Buffon retired after losing to Sweden and their spot in the World Cup, he was one of football's most talented goalkeepers of the modern era.
2. Lance Armstrong 2013
Lance Armstrong came clean about using performance-enhancing drugs during his career as a cyclist.
“I made my decisions. They’re my mistake. And I’m sitting here today to acknowledge that and to say I’m sorry for that,” the seven-time Tour de France winner told Winfrey.
The American athlete and cancer survivor had to surrender all of his titles after the scandal and his reputation was irrevocably damaged. He was one of the world's most admired athletes for his sporting prowess and his philanthropic work through the Livestrong Foundation.
3. Tiger Woods 2010
Tiger Woods apologised to his family on national television after a string of scandals were discovered in his private life, including that he had cheated on his wife with more than one woman.
“I know I have severely disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position,” Woods said. “For all that I have done, I am so sorry. I have a lot to atone for.”
The scandal resulted in his sponsors dropping him and his carefully crafted public image was in ruins.
4. Marion Jones 2007
Marion Jones was sentenced to jail for lying to US federal investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs before the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. She also received a two-year ban from competing.
“It is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust,” a tearful Jones said after pleading guilty to the charges in October 2007. “I have let (my family) down, I have let my country down, and I have let myself down.”
Jones had to surrender her three gold and two bronze medals she won in 2000 and had to repay the $100,000 in prize and bonus money.
5. Tonya Harding 1994
Tanya Harding was banned from the sport after trying to beat her opponent, literally. She hired someone to assault and damage the knee of her rival, Nancy Kerrigan.
She apologised a few months later but claimed that the idea was that of her ex-husband and that she had no prior knowledge but should have come forward as soon as she learned of the plot.
“Many of you will be unable to forgive me for that. It will be difficult to forgive myself,” she said in a 1994 press statement and appeared to choke up several times.
Harding was later convicted for trying to cover up the conspiracy which became the subject of the 2017 film, "I, Tonya".
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