Here's proof that even the slightest indiscretion can cause heartbreak.
Czech athlete Petra Kurikova was competing at the Arena Games Triathlon in Munich this week when she was disqualified before the swim leg of her event.
Kurikova was leading after stage one with a six-second advantage but was cruelly dismissed while she was waiting on the blocks ready to dive into the pool for the second heat of stage two.
It was then when Kurikova made a decision that would cost her dearly.
Standing behind her lane, she turned away from the pool and spat on the floor. A World Triathlon official saw this, approached her and produced a red card.
Kurikova was immediately in disbelief before she was later seen sitting down with the head referee, who was explaining something to her and pointing to his phone.
The disqualification gave Spaniard Anna Godoy the opportunity to sneak into third spot and keep her competition alive.
Taking to social media post the incident, Kurikova was clearly left annoyed and devastated at the decision.
"At first thank you for all nice words from you athletes and people around for whom spit is a natural reaction in sport," she wrote on Instagram.
"I am sorry for that I didn't spit extra to someone. I did it nearby and not during the race. What do you think about the theme spitting during the sports?
"I still can take something very positive. The race shows me I am on the good way. Some days the hard work will pay off."
Even the commentary team were shocked by the events.
"Of course, that is against the rules and she was extremely upset," one said.
"And why not. She was six seconds to the good at that point and then she was gone and that left just the five athletes battling it out for three qualification spots."
Kurikova, a former swimmer, competed at the Tokyo Olympics last year and has stood on the podium nine times across 107 starts, and has a world ranking of 107.
Featured Image Credit: World Triathlon