Women's Sport: High-profile female sports stars who filed for bankruptcy

Sheryl Swoopes drives to the basket

Increased salaries, lucrative sponsorship deals and attractive contracts are all part and parcel of an exceptional athlete's life though from time to time, some have found themselves struggling to maintain their fortunes once their careers are over.

But how does it all go so wrong, so quickly?

Generally, women are few and far between on the list of highest-paid athletes in the world, and the same goes for the record of those who have declared bankruptcy later in life.

Here, we've taken a look at four sports stars who have made the drastic transition from having it all to being completely broke.

Sheryl Swoopes
Former American basketball prowess Swoopes was the first player to be signed in the WNBA. Swoopes went on to have an illustrious career, winning numerous titles, accolades and even partnered with Nike to create a signature shoe named in her honour.

However, the three-time Olympic champion declared bankruptcy in 2004, admitting that she mismanaged her new-found wealth. It was reported that Swoopes's financial downfall occurred as a result of bad investments which ultimately led to her being unable to keep up with rent payments on her apartment.

Marion Jones
Jones was a force to be reckoned with in 2000, where she won five medals at the Olympics Games in Sydney - the first woman to do so in history.

Although once regarded as the "fastest woman on Earth", Jones's career took a sharp U-turn after years of allegations that ultimately led her to confess her doping violations.

The American sprinter was sentenced to six months in prison and required to hand back her Olympic and World Championship medals. With an accumulating debt to her name, Jones was forced to sell her house in order to repay money owed.

Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario
At her prime, Sánchez-Vicario was a phenomenal tennis player. The former world number one was unmatched on the court, as she went on to win four Grand Slam singles titles and four Olympic medals - to mention a few.

Inevitably, Sánchez-Vicario accumulated a hefty amount of money in her sparkling career, with her retirement estimated at over $40 million. However, the tennis ace blamed her parents for her misfortune. According to Forbes, Sánchez-Vicario opened up about her financial problems in a memoir, speaking candidly about her tax-evasion issues.

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Dorothy Hamill
Skating legend Hamill is best known for her gold medal-winning World and Olympic performances in 1976 which landed her many lucrative endorsements.

Hamill continued to rake in millions by starring in ice-skating shows including Ice Capades. However, soon after buying the rights to Ice Capades, Hamill was forced to sell the drowning company and eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1996.

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