*As Tiger Woods sits in a Mississippi treatment facility for sexual addiction, the athlete tops Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s new list of most powerful athletes, beating the likes of LeBron James and fellow golfer Phil Mickelson.

The list released Wednesday is based on earning potential and was compiled with the assistance of CSE and Horrow Sports Ventures.

The companies said Tiger would have ranked No. 1 on the list even if his infidelity had become public earlier last year.

James of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers was second, followed by Mickelson, Albert Pujols of baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, Peyton Manning of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, Dwyane Wade of the NBA’s Miami Heat, swimmer Michael Phelps, Adrian Peterson of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the Cavaliers’ Shaquille O’Neal and cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

In related news, Mickelson spoke about Woods to reporters ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open, which gets under way this weekend at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

“The game of golf needs him to come back,” Mickelson said, speaking for the first time in public since Woods’ confessed to infidelity. “It’s important for him to come back and be a part of the sport. But right now, he’s got a lot more important things going on in his life. Amy and I are good friends with both Tiger and Elin, and we care deeply about how this turns out.”