Olympians Who Were Sent to Prison (93)

Athlete Nation(s) Sport(s) Era Notes
Janez Albreht SLO
ICH 1976 Shot his wife and sent to prison for 5 years and 11 months for attempted murder.
Aleksandr Alenitsyn RUS TEN 1912 Imprisoned and tortured by the Bolsheviks for “having contacts with other countries”.
Constantin Apostol ROU EQU 1936 Imprisoned for 5 years (1959-64), because he was considered against the Romanian social order.
Pietro Aurino ITA BOX 1996 Sentenced to ten years in prison (reduced to eight) for outside aid in a Camorrist criminal association, drug peddling and arms trade.
Abdul Wahid Aziz IRQ WLT 1960 Twice for his leftist views; in February 1963 for during the Ramadan Revolution, and between August 8, 1980 and mid-1981 under the regime of Sadaam Hussein
Nathan Baggaley AUS CAN 2000—2004 He pleaded guilty to supplying and manufacturing ecstasy in 2009. He was sentenced to nine years in jail, but was released early in 2011.
Yomi Bankole NGR TTN 1988—1992 Spent four years in prison for armed robbery.
Patrick Bogere SWE BOX 2004 In 2006, he was sentenced to four years in prison for an armed robbery, but was released after 2 years for good behavior on probation again. He then continued his boxing career.
Alfried von Bohlen und Halbach GER SAI 1936 In 1948 he was sentenced to 12 years for “crimes against humanity”, but pardoned after three years in prison.
Arne Borg SWE SWI 1920—1928 After Borg failed to show up for conscription and went on holiday, he was briefly imprisoned.
Hicham Bouaouiche MAR ATH 1996 Sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing a policeman in France during a robbery gone wrong in December 2000
Dick Boushka USA BAS 1956 In December 2002 Boushka pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding American Bank of more than $17 million for various real estate deals. He pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud and one count each of making a false statement to obtain a bank loan and omission of information for the sale of a security, and was eventually sentenced to a 70-month prison term.
Riddick Bowe USA BOX 1988 Sentenced to 18 months in jail for kidnapping his estranged wife and children.
Alajos Bruckner (DNS) HUN SWI 1906—1908 After 1945, for his activities during the war, he was sentenced to prison and died in the prison hospital.
Jiří Bubla CZE
ICH 1976—1980 Sentenced to five years in prison in Vienna for smuggling heroin
Gustav Bubník CZE
Coach/ICH 1948—1968 Imprisoned for "planning to defect".
Jean Caplin GBR SWI 1948 Sentenced to two six month terms, to run consecutively, on 15 December 1952, on 13 counts of theft. The sentence was later commuted to two years probation on appeal.
Cassius Clay USA BOX 1960 In 1967 he was convicted for refusing to serve in the US Army and sentenced to 5 years in prison. His jail sentence was eventually overturned in the Supreme Court.
Alex de Jesús PUR BOX 2004 In 2010 he was sentenced to 4 years for domestic violence and weapons offences.
Yvonne de Ligne BEL FSK 1932—1936 Hired a killer to murder her husband and sent to prison for 15 years.
Stefan Denifl AUT CYC 2016 In January 2021, sentenced to 24 months in prison for commercial fraud for his role in Operation Aderlass, a blood doping scheme, although 16 months of the sentence were suspended.
Charles Dewachtere BEL ATH 1952 Received a 30 month prison sentence following an altercation that occurred shortly after his Olympic appearance
Đỗ Tiến Tuấn VIE BOX 1988 Imprisoned for life in 1999 after being convicted of murder
Christophe Dupouey FRA MTB 1996—2000 In 2006, he was found to be involved in a widespread doping scandal involving "pot belge", a mixture of cocaine, amphetamine and heroin that was used for performance enhancement on the Kermesse circuit. He served a three-month jail sentence.
Róbert Éder HUN ROW 1908 In 1921, he was sentenced for six months jail for high treason and in 1931, for eight months prison for deception.
Falih Fahmi IRQ ATH 1960 Imprisoned, and later executed, for insulting Saddam Hussein in front of his fellow military officers
Péter Farkas HUN WRE 1992—1996 Sentenced to five years in prison for running a marijuana farm. Escaped, but later re-captured, and the sentence increased to seven years.
Thomas Gerull FRG FEN 1988 In 2015-16 Thomas and his twin brother Michael Gerull were involved in one of the most sensational investor scandals in Germany in recent years, in which around 25,000 small investors lost their money. Both were sentenced to prison for eight and seven years.
Toby Gibson USA BOX 1964 Served time in prison for armed robbery.
Harry Gill GBR GYM 1908 Sentenced to 12 months in 1936 for 50 counts of embezzlement and other charges.
Rob Groenhuyzen NED VOL 1964 Imprisoned for three years for politically motivated attacks on objects.
Fethi Gürcan TUR EVE 1956 Imprisoned, and later executed, for his role in an attempted coup against the Turkish government.
Přemysl Hajný CZE
Coach/ICH 1948—1976 Imprisoned for "planning to defect".
Toni Hannula FIN WRE 1984 Spent ten years in prison between 1989 and 2010 for crimes of violence and robbery
Bob Hayes USA ATH 1964 Served a two-year jail term for possession and trafficking in illegal drugs.
Clarence Hill BER BOX 1976 He ended up in prison twice, once for cocaine possesion and once for armed robbery.
Raimo Hirvonen FIN WRE 1972 Spent time in prison for crimes of violence and robbery
Ravivimal Jayewardene SRI SHO 1964 Imprisoned briefly in 1971 for alleged complicity in the JVP insurrection.
David Jenkins GBR ATH 1972—1980 Sentenced to seven years in prison, but served just nine months for smuggling steroids.
Marion Jones USA ATH 2000—2004 Sentenced to six-months in jail for perjury related to doping offenses, serving began in March 2008.
Jeff Julian NZL ATH 1960—1964 Sentence to 2 years in prison in 2000 for conspiracy to defraud.
Ignac Kavec SLO
ICH 1976 In 2013 he was sentenced to 4 years in prison for extortion.
Vladimír Kobranov CZE
ICH 1948 Imprisoned for "planning to defect".
Aleksandr Kolchinsky URS
WRE 1976—1980 Was sentenced to seven years of prison on extortion charges in 1994, but was paroled by Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma in 1996.
Stanislav Konopásek CZE
ICH 1948 Imprisoned for "planning to defect".
Tamara Lazakovich BLR
GYM 1972 Unhappiness with her life led her to alcoholism, which resulted in several jail sentences.
Wayne LeBombard USA SSK 1964—1968 In 1987 he was arrested and sentenced to 45 days in jail for stealing money from a bike shop.
Spyros Louis GRE ATH 1896 Imprisoned on charges of falsifying military documents in 1926. He spent more than a year in jail before his trial on 28 June 1927, when was acquitted.
Béla Lőwig HUN BOX 1924 Lőwig worked as a bodyguard for the fascist Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Szálasi. In 1946 Löwig was sentenced to three years in prison.
Raimo Majuri FIN NCO 1964—1968 Jailed for 6 years in the 1970s in Denmark for drug smuggling
Humberto Mariles MEX EQU/EVE 1948—1952 In 1964 he was imprisoned after shooting a man, but was released by presidential pardon. In 1972 he was arrested in Paris for drug-smuggling but died in prison before coming to trial.
Hamish McLachlan AUS ROW 1988 A stockbroker, he was accused of transferring his own share options, which were falling in value, to his clients’ accounts in 1996-97. In 2004 he was found guilty and ordered to serve a nine-year jail sentence.
Bohumil Modrý CZE
ICH 1948 Imprisoned for "planning to defect".
Tim Montgomery USA ATH 1996—2000 In May 2008 sentenced to 46 months in prison for his role in a check-fraud and money laundering scheme. In October 2008 sentenced to five-years in prison for heroin dealing.
Simo Morri FIN SHO 1968 Sentenced to life in prison (later reduced to 11 years) for murder after shooting dead his wife.
László Muskát HUN ATH 1924 He was imprisoned for a year in 1958, but it was never established why.
Fabian Muyaba ZIM ATH 1988—1992 In 2009, he was sentenced to 10 years for defrauding the US government.
Petter Northug NOR CCS 2010—2014 In 2020 he was sentenced to seven months in prison.
Doug Northway USA SWI 1972—1976 In 1997 he pleaded guilty to attempted molestation of a 9-year-old girl he was coaching and was sentenced to four months in prison, four months of house arrest, and lifetime probation.
Matti Nykänen FIN SKJ 1984—1988 He was found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to a 26-month jail term in October 2004, but since it was his first offense, he was released from jail in September 2005. While on probation, he was re-arrested four days later for again abusing Tapola. Nykänen was convicted again for four months on 16 March 2006, but soon after his release he stabbed a man in a pizza restaurant in Korpilahti. This time he was sentenced to two years in prison, but the term was later shortened to 60 days and 57 hours of community service.
Godwin Okpara NGR FTB 2000 In August 2005, Okpara was arrested by French police on charges of raping his 13 year-old adopted daughter. He was found guilty and imprisoned in June 2007 for 10 years. His wife, Linda Okpara, accused of torture on the same person has been condemned to 15 years in jail.
Sylvester Omodiale NGR ATH 2000 In 2006 he was sentenced to 4 years in prison for smuggling cocaine.
Igor Paklin KGZ
ATH 1988—1992 In 1995 imprisoned for manslaughter.
Vasilios Papageorgopoulos GRE ATH 1972—1976 In 2013 he was sentenced to life in prison from embezzling €18,000,000 during his time as mayor of Thessaloniki.
Brian Phelps GBR DIV 1960—1964 Charged with rape, attempted rape, and 19 indecent assaults on females under the age of 15 between 1976 and 1986. In May 2008, he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three young girls at his gymnastics club during the 1970s and 80s and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Oscar Pistorius RSA ATH 2012 In 2014 he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for culpable homicide.
Ludovít Plachetka CZE BOX 1996 Served nine years for murder and attempted murder. Released then later convicted of sexual offences.
István Prihoda HUN SHO 1912 His car caused a fatal accident, for which he was sentenced to 1 year prison
Manuel Puig CUB ROW 1948 Puig was a member of Brigade 2506 that attempted to assist the US-backed Bay of Pigs (Bahía de Cochinos) invasion in 1961. In March 1961 Puig was arrested. He was executed by firing squad one month later. His brother, Ramón, was sentenced to 30 years hard labor for his role in resisting the Castro government, but he was later released and escaped to Miami.
Ramón Puig CUB ROW 1948 Condemned to 30 years of hard labor in various Cuban prisons, including La Cabaña, Isla de Pinos, El Príncipe, Melena del Sur, and Sandino. Eventually was released and escaped to Miami, Florida.
Warren Richards AUS JUD 1976 Arrested and found guilty for drug trafficking.
Steve Riddick USA ATH 1976 In 2007 he was convicted of conspiracy, bank fraud, and money laundering, and sentenced to federal prison for five years and three months for counterfeiting checks.
Murray Riley AUS ROW 1952—1956 In 1966 he was jailed for a year in New Zealand on charges of attempting to bribe a police inspector. In 1978 he was arrested after 4.3 tons of cannabis was found onboard a yacht. Riley pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Judge Kenneth Torrington to 5-10 years in jail.
Václav Roziňák CZE
ICH 1948 Imprisoned for "planning to defect".
Luigi Sartor ITA FTB 1996 Arrested on 19 December 2011 for the "Last Bet" investigation in football betting. He remained in prison for two months and two months under house arrest. In 2021 he was placed under house arrest for growing a marijuana farm.
Thomas Schleicher AUT JUD 1996 Committed suicide while in prison.
Brian Schumacher GBR BOX 1984 Served 23 years for murder after killing his mother's partner.
Wolfgang Schwarz AUT FSK 1964—1968 In 2002 he was sentenced to 1½ years in prison on trafficking charges related to importing young Lithuanian girls to Austria to serve as prostitutes. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in August 2006 for plotting to kidnap the daughter of a Romanian businessman.
Guðmundur Sigurjónsson CAN
Coach/GLM/ICH 1908—1920 The last man to be sentenced to prison for homosexual acts in Iceland. Some years later he received a Royal Pardon by the King of Denmark.
Ayouba Ali Sihame COM SWI 2012 In January 2013, she pleaded guilty to using false documents to avoid being married against her will and was sentenced to eight months in jail.
Bill Silkworth USA SHO 1924 On 29 November 1929, he was found guilty of using the mails to defraud and was sentenced to a short jail term and fined several thousand dollars.
James Snook USA SHO 1920 Found guilty of murder and later suffered the death penalty.
Yevhen Sotnykov UKR JUD 2008 Sentenced to life imprisonment for murder
Doc Strong USA WRE 1936 Committed suicide in a jail cell where he sat for public drunkenness.
Patric Suter SUI ATH 2004 In 2009 Suter was arrested for the murder of a married couple and later sentenced to life imprisonment. He had belonged to a so-called "snowball circle". Due to his drug addiction, he was in financial difficulties and wanted to renovate this way.
Tin Tun MYA BOX 1964—1968 Imprisoned as "political dissident".
Regilio Tuur NED BOX 1988 In 2003, he was sentenced to 20 months in jail for various violence offences, including the beating of his wife and the assault of a police officer.
Masato Uchishiba JPN JUD 2004—2008 In February 2013 sentenced to five years in prison for raping a student he had been coaching.
Iñaki Urdangarín ESP HAN 1992—2001 Sentenced to 6 years and three months for his part in a political scandal, embezzlement and money laundering in 2017. He stayed out of prison on appeal, and in June 2018 his sentence was reduced to five years and 10 months. However, he had to start the sentence within five days of the ruling by a judge in Palma de Mallorca.
Alexis Vila CUB WRE 1996 Served 3 years in prison (2004-07) for alleged attempted terrorism at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Sentence to 15 years in prison in 2020 after being found guilty as an accessory to second-degree murder.
René Weller FRG BOX 1976 In 1999 he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment due to cocaine dealing, dealing in stolen goods and forgery, but was released in 2003.
Ricardo Williams, Jr. USA BOX 2000 In 2005 he was arrested and convicted of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and was sentenced to three years in jail. After serving 31 months, he was released.
Daniele Zappaterra ITA BOX 1976 Imprisoned for some months in 1982-83 for terrorist gang activities and sentenced to four years in prison (2008-12) for possession and trafficking in illegal drugs.