When it comes to the world of professional sports there is a huge amount of money which changes hands especially for those who excel and win. It is therefore easy to understand why some athletes will stop at nothing to win at all costs even if that means taking performance enhancing drugs.
Here we look at 7 Biggest Drug Cheats in Sport. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Ben Johnson, a Jamaica—born Canadian, was once considered the fasted man on the planet and the world’s greatest sprinter. He won two bronze medals in the Los Angeles Olympic Games and managed to set consecutive world records during the 1987 world championships and 1988 Olympics where he also won gold.
Unfortunately for Johnson his urine samples were tested and found to contain traces of the banned steroid Stanozolol and he was banned from the sport and stripped of his world records and gold medals.
United States sprinter Marion Jones won five medals in the Sydney Olympics of 2000. She passed every single doping test thrown at her but in 2007 she finally admitted that she had used performance enhancing drugs throughout her career and to win the five medals in the 2000 Olympic Games. She was subsequently stripped of all five medals ad also served jail time for lying to federal agents who questioned her regarding doping within the sport.
The sport of cycling is well known for its doping scandals which are as old as the sport itself. The America rider ad winner of the 2006 Tour de France was certainly not the first rider to be caught using performance enhancing drugs but he was the first rider who was stripped of his Tour de France victory. At first Landis claimed he was innocent and there had been an error in the doping control. He took close to a million dollars from his supporters to fight his case in court and even wrote a book protesting his innocence. He later admitted that he had doped and spoke to anti-doping bodies exposing many of the sport’s top stars in the process.
The Chinese Swimming Team
Over the years the swimming teams of China have been accused and found guilty of all kinds of doping violations. During the 1994 Asian Games 11 athletes on the Chinese team tested positive for dihydrotestosterone. In 1998 4 Chinese swimmers at the world championships tested positive for human growth hormone and several vials of HGH were found in the locker of Yuan Yuan. Since 1990 more than 40 Chinese swimmers have tested positive for some form of performance enhancing drug.
Ostapchuck was the biggest scandal to come out of London’s Olympic Games. The Belarusian shot-putter tested positive both before and after her amazing throw of 21 meters.
East German Team in the 1970’s
During the decades of the 70’s and the 80’s there was close to no East German athletes who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. It was after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 that former East German athletes began to tell their stories of drug abuse. It turns out the East German government gave its athletes regular doses of all manner of performance enhancing drugs. In many cases the athletes did not even know what they were been given but a refusal would have meant a pretty harsh punishment. The German government went as far as setting up a $2.18 million fund for the doped athletes should they wish to make a claim due to problems that have been encountered as a result of the encouraged doping.
Lance Armstrong was once considered the greatest athlete who ever lived. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to his lungs and brain and doctors gave him a 30% chance of survival. Amazingly Armstrong beat the odds and survived. He then went on to win the Tour de France a record breaking 7 times. In 7 years. Although Armstrong has never officially failed a drug test there have been no end to the number of former team mates and associates who have claimed Armstrong doped himself and even ran a sophisticated doping ring.
Despite his continued denial of any involvement in doping in 2012 Lance Armstrong was found guilty of doping offences, banned from the sport of cycling for life and stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles. The Armstrong conspiracy and Lance himself has the potential to be remembered as the greatest fraud in sporting history.