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Doping at the Olympic Games

Sat 24 July 2021 | 15:00

In the following article, we will review a historical timeline of doping in the Olympics. Join us.

For over a century, doping, or the use of drugs, has been used by Olympic athletes to enhance performance. Due to winning the competition, some athletes have always been willing to risk the using of a drug, however, they know taking drugs is dangerous. Most of the time, national sporting federations and coaches have turned a blind eye to this drug use.

In the old days, Figs were used by some ancient Greeks, but others turned to mushrooms, and ancient Egyptians used those ground mule hooves, which they believed could boost their athletic prowess. In Britain, an endurance walker used laudanum to stay awake in a competition in 1807. A mixture of strychnine, raw eggs, and brandy, was used by a runner in the 1904 Olympic marathon, and he won his race.

In recent years, some athletes use substances consist of steroids, which is human growth hormone and blood-boosting erythropoietin, to enhance their performance. Doping in the 20th and 21st centuries has caused infamous scandals and tainted victories. In the following article, we will review

doping at the Olympic Games

.

Doping in Olympics

Let's take a look at the Olympic doping scandals.

History of Doping at the Olympics

During the early 20th century, many Olympic athletes wanted to improve their abilities, and they discovered by boosting testosterone, they could improve their athletic capabilities. As their methods became more sophisticated, the use of performance-enhancing drugs was a threat to the integrity of sport and could also have potentially fatal side effects on the athlete.

Knud Enemark Jensen, the Danish cyclist, fell from his bicycle and later died at the Rome Games of 1960. The influence of amphetamine had caused him to lose consciousness during the race. His death exposed to the world how drug use was among elite athletes, and by the mid–the 1960s, sports federations banned the use of performance-enhancing drugs; the IOC followed suit in 1967. Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall was the first athlete at the Olympics to test positive for the use of performance-enhancing drugs at the 1968 Summer Olympics.

He lost his bronze medal for using alcohol. East German Olympic teams of the 1970s and 1980s were one of the most systematic cases of drug use at the Olympic Games. The coaches and trainers of many East German female athletes, especially swimmers, administered anabolic steroids and other drugs.

The East German female swimmers medal tally in 1972 was four silvers and one bronze, which increased to ten golds, six silvers, and one bronze in 1976. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, some documents proved that East Germany used drugs to improve their competitiveness at the Olympic Games and other international sporting events.

Also, West German athletes used drugs at the Munich Games of 1972 and the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The World Anti-Doping Agency(WADA) was founded in 1999, and since then, its activity has been fighting against drugs in sports. But The 2000 Summer Olympics and 2002 Winter Olympics, a number of medalists in cross-country skiing and weightlifting were disqualified due to failing a drug test.

Only one athlete failed a drug test during the 2006 Winter Olympics. The IOC tested 3,667 athletes under the auspices of the World Anti-Doping Agency during the Beijing Games, and six athletes failed drug tests while in competition. Stay with us to read more about doping at the Olympic Games.

A Historical Timeline of Doping in the Olympics

In this part of our article on doping at the Olympic Games, we will review doping scandals in each Olympic Games. Doping is the darkest side of the Olympic Games, and Some of the record-breaking moments in Olympic history have been shattered by doping scandals. But it is not new to the Games that athletes using substances to enhance their performance. In this part of our Sportmob article on doping at the Olympic Games, we will review

Olympic doping scandals

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1968 Mexico City

The 1968 Summer Olympics were held from 12 to 27 October 1968 in Mexico City. These were the first Olympic Games to be staged in a Spanish-speaking country and the first to be staged in Latin America country. The United States became first and won the most gold and overall.

The Swedish athlete, Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, that his doping scandal caused the disqualification of the Swedish team at the 1968 Olympics for alcohol use.

1972 Munich

The 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Munich, Bavaria, West Germany, from 26 August to 11 September 1972, which were the second Summer Olympics to be held in Germany. Rick DeMont, the USA 16-year-old swimming athlete qualified to represent the United States at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. In the men's 400-meter freestyle, he won the gold medal, but after the competition, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) disqualified him.

Following the positive test, he was barred from any other events at the Olympics, including the 1,500-meter freestyle. It is worth mentioning that Rick DeMont was the then-current world record-holder.

Here is a list of all the athletes that tested positive during 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.

Bakaava Buidaa

  • Country: Mongolia

  • Sport: Judo

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Dianabol

Miguel Coll

  • Country: Puerto Rico

  • Sport: Basketball

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Amphetamine

Rick DeMont

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Swimming

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Ephedrine

Aad van den Hoek

  • Country: Netherlands

  • Sport: Cycling

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Coramine

Jaime Huelamo

  • Country: Spain

  • Sport: Cycling

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Coramine

Walter Legel

  • Country: Austria

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Amphetamine

Mohammad Reza Nasehi

  • Country: Iran

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Ephedrine

1976 Montreal

The 1976 Summer Olympics were held from July 17 to August 1, 1976, in Montreal, Canada. After Paris, Montreal is the second French speaking city to host the Olympics Games. The Soviet Union became first and won the most gold and overall.

Here is a list of all the athletes that tested positive during 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada.

Blagoi Blagoev

  • Country: Bulgaria

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Anabolic steroid

Mark Cameron

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Anabolic steroid

Paul Cerutti

  • Country: Monaco

  • Sport: Shooting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Amphetamine

Dragomir Cioroslan

  • Country: Romania

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Fencamfamine

Philippe Grippaldi

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Anabolic steroid

Zbigniew Kaczmarek

  • Country: Poland

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Anabolic steroid

1980 Moscow

At the 1980 Summer Olympics, no athletes were caught doping. It is interesting to know that in the 1980 Olympic Games, athletes had begun using testosterone for which tests had not been yet developed. "There is hardly a medal winner at the Moscow Games, certainly not a gold medal winner...who is not on one sort of drug or another: usually several kinds. The Moscow Games might well have been called the Chemists' Games," claimed a report by a committee of the Australian Senate in 1989.

Manfred Donike, a member of the IOC Medical Commission, ran new tests with a new method that measured testosterone ratio to epitestosterone in urine for identifying abnormal levels of it. Later IOC added his unique technique to their testing protocols.

1984 Los Angeles

The 1984 Summer Olympics were held from July 28 to August 12, 1984, mainly in Los Angeles, California, United States. Los Angeles Olympic Games' organizers had refused to provide the IOC doping authorities with a safe before the start of the games. Medical records were stolen because of a lack of security. Alexandre de Merod, IOC Medical Commission chair in 1994 claimed that a member of the Los Angeles organizing committee, Tony Daly, had destroyed the records.

Later, Pat McDonough, the American cyclist, admitted to blood doping at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. After the 1984 Olympic Games, it became clear that one-third of the U.S. cycling team, which won nine medals, had received blood transfusions before the games. In 1985 IOC banned Blood doping, which had not to test for it at the time.

Here is a list of all the athletes that tested positive during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States.

Serafim Grammatikopoulos

  • Country: Greece

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Nandrolone

Vesteinn Hafsteinsson

  • Country: Iceland

  • Sport: Athlete

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Nandrolone

Tomas Johansson

  • Country: Sweden

  • Sport: Wrestling

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Methenolone

Stefan Laggner

  • Country: Austria

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Nandrolone

Goran Pettersson

  • Country: Sweden

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Nandrolone

1988 Seoul

The 1988 Summer Olympics were held from 17 September to 2 October 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. These Games were the second summer Olympic Games were held in Asia. Although The boycotts were not entirely over, they disappeared at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Only five socialist countries, including Cuba, North Korea, Albania, Ethiopia, and Seychelles, boycotted the 1988 Seoul Olympics. With 55 gold and 132 total medals, the Soviet Union dominated the medal count.

Here is a list of all the athletes that tested positive during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Ali Dad

  • Country: Afghanistan

  • Sport: Wrestling

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Furosemide

Kerrith Brown

  • Country: Great Britain

  • Sport: Judo

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Furosemide

Kalman Csengeri

  • Country: Hungary

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Stanozolol

Mitko Grablev

  • Country: Bulgaria

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Furosemide

Angell Guenchev

  • Country: Bulgaria

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Furosemide

Ben Johnson

  • Country: Canada

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Stanozolol

1992 Barcelona

The 1992 Summer Olympics were held from 25 July to 9 August 1992 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Since the end of the Cold War, the 1992 Games were the first Olympics Games and the first unaffected by boycotts since the 1972 Summer Games. With 45 gold and 112 overall medals, The Unified Team (made up of the former Soviet republics without the Baltic states) dominated the medal count.

Here is a list of all the athletes that tested positive during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Madina Biktagirova

  • Country: Unified Team

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Norephedrine

Wu Dan

  • Country: China

  • Sport: Volleyball

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Strychnine

Bonnie Dasse

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Clenbuterol

Jud Logan

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Clenbuterol

Nijole Medvedeva

  • Country: Lithuania

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Mesocarb

1996 Atlanta

The 1996 Summer Olympics were held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. These Olympic Games were the fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States. From 197 National Olympic Committees, more than 10,000 athletes competed in 26 sports. Due to the positive tests, five athletes were disqualified by the IOC.

Boris Vasilyev, Lithuanian team coach, and Dr. Vitaly Slionssarenko, physician to the Lithuanian cycling team, were expelled from the games by the IOC for their role in the doping scandal.

Here is a list of some of the athletes that tested positive during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States.

Antonella Bevilacqua

  • Country: Italy

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine

Dean Capobianco

  • Country: Australia

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Stanozolol

Sandra Farmer-Patrick

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Testosterone

Daniel Plaza

  • Country: Spain

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Nandrolone

Iva Prandzheva

  • Country: Bulgaria

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Metadienone

2000 Sydney

The 2000 Summer Olympics were from 15 September to 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. These Games were the second time to be hosted by Australia. With 37 gold and 93 total medals, United States dominated the medal count.

Here is a list of some of the athletes that tested positive during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Fritz Aanes

  • Country: Norway

  • Sport: Wrestling

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Norandrosterone and noretiochdandone

Ashot Danielyan

  • Country: Armenia

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Stanozolol

Izabela Dragneva

  • Country: Bulgaria

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Furosemide

Stian Grimseth

  • Country: Norway

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Nandrolone

Marion Jones

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: THG

2004 Athens

The 2004 Summer Olympics were held from 13 to 29 August 2004 in Athens, Greece. The 10,625 athletes competed in 28 different sports. In 2004, the Olympic Games returned to the city where they began.

Jacques Rogge, IOC President, hailed the 2004 Olympic Games as unforgettable dream games. United States became first and won the most gold and overall medals, as well as a number of world and Olympic records were broken during the Games.

Here is a list of some of the athletes that tested positive during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Ludger Beerbaum

  • Country: Germany

  • Sport: Equestrian

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Betamethasone (to horse Goldfever)

Crystal Cox

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Anabolic agents

Tyler Hamilton

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Cycling

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Use of prohibited substances and methods (self-admission)

Albina Khomich

  • Country: Russia

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Testosterone

Olga Shchukina

  • Country: Uzbekistan

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Clenbuterol

Stay tuned to read more about doping at the Olympic Games.

2008 Beijing

The 2008 Summer Olympics were held from 8 to 24 August 2008 in Beijing, China. An official slogan for the Beijing Olympic Games was Zero Tolerance for Doping. During the Games, the 4,500 samples were collected from participating athletes, six athletes with positive tests were ousted from the competition.

In May 2016 IOC, after the Russian Olympic doping scandal, announced that 32 targeted retests had come back positive and 14 athletes were from Russia, 11 of them were track and field athletes.

Here is a list of some of the athletes that tested positive during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

Elvan Abeylegesse

  • Country: Turkey

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: -

Christian Ahlmann

  • Country: Germany

  • Sport: Equestrian

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Capsaicin

Courtney King

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Equestrian

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Felbinac

Yuliya Chermoshanskaya

  • Country: Russia

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Stanozolol & Turinabol

Marina Shainova

  • Country: Russia

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Stanozolol and Turinabol

Stay tuned to read more about doping at the Olympic Games.

2012 London

The 2012 Summer Olympics were held in London, United Kingdom, from 27 July to 12 August 2012. Before the start of the Summer Games, it was announced that half of all the competitors would be tested for drugs. During these games, after Ye Shiwen's gold medal in the women's 400m Individual Medley, she faced doping allegations.

Also, Darya Pishchalnikova, a Russian athlete, participated in the 2012 Olympics and won a silver medal. However, she tested positive for the anabolic steroid oxandrolone, and her name was among the athletes who did

doping in Olympics

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Gold medalists at the games, including Tatyana Lysenko, the winner of the women's hammer throw, Alexander Vinokourov, the winner of the men's road race, Sandra Perkovic, winner of the women's discus throw, and Aslı Cakır Alptekin, the winner of the women's 1500 meters had been involved in previous doping offenses.

Here is a list of some other athletes that tested positive during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.

Hussain Al-Hamdah

  • Country: Saudi Arabia

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Biological passport abnormalities

Gamze Bulut

  • Country: Turkey

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Biological passport

Nicholas Delpopolo

  • Country: United States

  • Sport: Judo

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Cannabis

Yelizaveta Grechishnikova

  • Country: Russia

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Biological passport abnormalities

Anzhelika Shevchenko

  • Country: Ukraine

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Biological passport abnormalities

2016 Rio de Janeiro

During the 2016 Olympics, Russia introduced 389 athletes for competition, but 111 were removed by IOC because of the state-sponsored doping scandal.

Lin Tzu-chi, the Taiwanese weightlifter, was withdrawn from the Olympic Games just hours before her event. John Anzrah, Kenyan athletics coach, was sent home after being caught posing as an athlete during a doping test. Also, Michael Rotich, Kenya's track and field manager, was sent home after he offered to give athletes advanced notice of any pending drugs test in return for a one-off payment.

Here is a list of some other athletes that tested positive during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Izzat Artykov

  • Country: Kyrgyzstan

  • Sport: Weightlifting

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Strychnine

Chen Xinyi

  • Country: China

  • Sport: Swimming

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Hydrochlorothiazide

Anastassya Kudinova

  • Country: Kazakhstan

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Drostanolone

Yelizaveta Grechishnikova

  • Country: Russia

  • Sport: Athletics

  • Anti-doping rule violation: Biological passport abnormalities

Kleber Ramos

  • Country: Brazil

  • Sport: Cycling

  • Anti-doping rule violation: CERA

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