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Jim Thorpe won Olympic gold, only to have his medal taken away in a controversy over his amateur status. He was a standout athlete in many sports and helped found what became the National Football League. He led a sometimes troubled life and at the time of this 1931 photo he was working as a laborer at the site of the new Los Angeles County Hospital. (Associated Press)

Jim Thorpe won Olympic gold, only to have his medal taken away in a controversy over his amateur status. He was a standout athlete in many sports and helped found what became the National Football League. He led a sometimes troubled life and at the time of this 1931 photo he was working as a laborer at the site of the new Los Angeles County Hospital. (Associated Press)

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The biggest villains in sports

Ray Rice is just the latest famous athlete to draw the ire of the American public. Sports stars haven’t always acted as role models — both on and off the field.