7 Biggest Doping Scandals In Sport
Watch: The 7 biggest doping scandals in sport
The IAAF scandal continues to rock the world of organised athletics. The latest on Russia's quest to be the best has revealed a massive state-sponsored doping programme across almost all Olympic sports for over four years. Dope-positive samples of blood would vanish overnight. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia's national anti-doping laboratory, claims he doped tens of athletes before the 2014 Winter Olympics and covered his tracks by replacing urine samples.
While it all sounds a bit too Rocky IV, the allegations – and ramifications, if true – are no laughing matter.
It's clear doping is the biggest threat to organised sport today. The drug meldonium was banned in tennis competitions in January this year, two months before tennis legend Maria Sharapova admitted to using it. It's said to increase blood flow to the muscles, improving exercise capacity in athletes.
(Related: we dope a MH staffer to see what happens)
Sharapova is just the latest in a long line of athletes with a doping history.MHdigs into the archives to bring you the 7 biggest doping upsets in sport.
The quintessential scandal, Lance Armstrong's miraculous recovery from testicular cancer to tour de force performances in the Tour De France were overshadowed by his constant battle with doping allegations – even under oath. But the secret finally came out, leaving Armstrong stripped of his titles. He's now become ubiquitous when sporting cheats are mentioned and has left us with a retroactively painful cameo inDodgeball.
Ben Johnson & the Seoul 1988 Olympics
Johnson's victory in the Seoul Olympics was a proud moment for Canada before six of the eight 100-metre finalists in that race were found to have taken anabolic steroids. Dubbed the "dirtiest race in history" for precisely this reason, Johnson's coach later admitted all his athletes took steroids. An institutional pattern was beginning to emerge.
Famous baseball player Canseco was a naturally powerful man, allowing him to tally-up a succession of home runs and baseball awards alike. But in 2005 his tell-all bookJuiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big,outed himself and a succession of other athletes for taking performance-enhancing steroids. At its peak, he claims 85% of major league players were using.
Regardless of how you feel aboutthatquestionable moment on the world stage, Maradona was a great if troubled player. His long-standing cocaine addiction qualified as a stimulant and interfered with his ability to play football, causing him to fail drugs tests and eventually succumb to severe health issues. But still, Maradona's fanboy following persists, with boys being named after him in Brazil – including one Diego Costa.
(Related: get football fit)
Marion Jones & BALCO
This world champion American track-and-fielder achieved stardom in the USA by winning 3 gold medals at the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney. But she was stripped of these after testing positive to steroid use, traced back to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative. BALCO supplied performance enhancers to a number of athletes over the years, including the NFL's Bill Romanowski.
Tyson Gay is tied for the title of the Second Fastest Man Alive. The magnitude of this only serves to make the impact of his positive test for a banned substance even worse. Stripped of his silver medals and suspended for two years, Gay came back to win the Prefontaine Classic event in Oregon. But the problem with doping is that it's a scar on an athlete's reputation that never goes away, and fans will always be in doubt about the legitimacy of Gay's speed.
Unquestionably the biggest doping scandal in recent memory, the video is an angry Sebastian Coe suspending Russia from all Athletic Federation activities. Claims that the IAAF could not have been unaware of the scale of the problem is cause for yet more concern about the institutional problem doping in sport presents.
Video: Top 10 Shocking Doping Scandals in Sports
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