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January 04 2010

Tiger Woods turns coverboy

• 'Raw, never before see' shoot took place before revelations
EA Sports stand by their man and prepare for new golf game

When he announced over three weeks ago that he was taking an "indefinite break" from golf to "repair the damage I've done", this may not have been the image change Tiger Woods had in mind.

The disgraced golfer appealed for privacy last month following lurid allegations of affairs with up to 14 women "to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person".

Today, however, new photographs emerged in which Woods is pictured not in a contrite tableau with his wife and two children, but posing aggressively, and apparently naked, staring into the camera with a dumbbell in each hand.

Vanity Fair, in which the pictures by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz appear, has not confirmed when they were taken, though it does say the "raw, never before seen" photo shoot took place before the golfer's fall from grace.

The golfer's squeaky clean image collapsed following a bizarre car crash outside his home in November, after which a number of women emerged claiming they had affairs with Woods, what Buzz Bissinger, a Vanity Fair writer, refers to as the golfer's "harem". It is a measure of how far Woods has fallen that where the magazine is usually unfailingly deferential in its treatment of its celebrity cover stars, Bissinger lists in detail the allegations made by the women, which he summarises more coyly as "sex, tons of it, in allegedly all different varieties".

Woods had a positive approval rating of 87% in 2005; it is now 33%, Vanity Fair notes, describing it as "one of the greatest recorded drops in popularity of any nonpolitical figure". © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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