Four of the biggest doping scandals in athletics

22nd European Athletics Championships - Day Two

Sport has forever been plagued by drug scandals, with Lance Armstong, Diego Maradona and Floyd Landis to name but a few fraudsters.

But none more so than in athletics is drug abuse so prevalent, with Kenyan athletes potentially due to become the second team to be banned from competing in the Rio Olympics later this year, following in the footseps of Russia.  

Various athletes have fallen from fame and seen their names tarnished by drugs, as these four epitomise. 


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Justin Gatlin

Gatlin, an Olympic gold medalist, was banned in July 2006 after testing positive for testosterone despite denying the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

He later complied with the authorities and agreed to an eight-year ban from track and field rather than a lifetime ban, which was reduced to four years in 2007. His 2006 100m world record was revoked as a result. 

Dwain Chambers

Britain's Chambers tested positive for steroids in 2003 and was banned from athletics for two years and the Olympic Games for life, though the latter was eventually overturned.

He revealed the true extent of his drug use in his autobiography, 'Race Against Me: My Story', admitting he was a 'walking junkie' and that he used a masking agent when testing, allowing him to pass even at the height of his drug use. 


Marion Jones

Jones, once the golden girl of athletics who appeared on the cover of Vogue, fell from grace very quickly when she was accused of doping throughout her career - even in high school.

In 2007, she admitted to lying to under oath about her use of steroids prior to the 2000 Summer Olympics and pleaded guilty of drug abuse. She was stripped of her five Olympic medals and sentenced to six months in jail. 

Tyson Gay

The American sprinter was banned for one year after testing positive for anabolic sterioids in the summer of 2013, also stripped of his silver Olympic medal he won as a part of USA's 4x100m in London 2012. 


He was originally due to serve a two-year suspension but had his punishment halved by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after providing 'substantial assistance' during their investigation. 

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