Olympic athletes that cheated their way to the gold

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Olympians are amazing physical specimens, almost super human in fact. They strive to push the very boundaries of human fitness and achieve what many can only dream of. The aim of each athlete is to one day become Olympic champion, to take home the gold.

However, some will go further than others to achieve this, some may even cheat. Doping has become quite a serious issue in sport overall over the past few years, some even cheating and sneaking their way to the very top of the podium. The list is far too long to include every athlete where this is the case, so we will focus on some of the more well-known or truly shocking cases.


Johnson destroyed the world record for the 100m at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He eventually outrageously claimed that a gold medal is something that nobody can take away from you, well he was wrong there as only a day later he tested positive for anabolic steroid and was stripped of the medal.


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The gold was then awarded to Carl Lewis, who himself had tested positive for stimulants in the 1988 Olympic trials, but the US Olympic committee overturned his suspension. Simply inspiring... In an interesting turn of events in 1999, Johnson was hired by Saadi el-Qaddafi as a fitness coach. The son of Libyan dictator, Muammar, had aspirations of becoming a football player. After playing one professional game in Italy, he was also on the receiving end of a failed drugs test.


In 1904 Fred Lorz became the first competitor to cross the finish line of the marathon at the 1904 St. Louis Games. The American's victory however had been anything but legit. He had actually completed 10 miles of the marathon by car, after he claimed he cramped up early in the event.

His car coincidentally broke down and he was forced to run the final 5 miles, but rejuvenated and rested he did just that. The facts of the situation were quickly uncovered however with him claiming that it was all just a joke.

After Lorz's confession, the victory was given to Thomas Hicks. He himself had administered a stimulant and although a potentially lethal cocktail had ingested a dose of Strychnine, sulphate in egg whites and a sip of brandy. The performance enhancer was within the rules of 1904, strangely enough.


Marino Jones was a star at the 2000 Sydney games and captured a staggering three gold and two bronze medals, making history and becoming the first woman to win five medals at a single Olympiad.

She was placed under intense suspicion and scrutiny when it was revealed that her shot putter husband, C.J Hunter, had tested positive for steroids. Although at first Jones strenuously denied these claims, she later admitted back in 2007, that she had in fact used steroids in the build up to the Sydney games. She served a six month sentence for lying to federal officials and was subsequently stripped of all her medals.


Asli Cakir Alptekin is a former Turkish middle runner, who seemed to be very talented and was ultimately very successful. She specialised in the 1500m. She was European champion and also won the gold at the 2012 London games in her main event. She has in reality been caught up in doping and cheating scandals for quite some time.

She received a two-year ban from track in 2004 after testing positive for banned substances during the 2004 Junior World Championship. On March 22 2013, it was reported that she was one of several athletes who tested positive for banned substances. She would have been facing a life time ban if the Turkish Athletic Federation had not waved away all of her charges.

On August 17, 2015, the Court of Arbitration for Sports claimed that it had approved a settlement between Alptekin and IAAF, and the she would willingly give up her 1500m gold medal and would receive an eight-year ban for blood doping. She has since forfeited all her results from July 29, 2010, including her gold medal and European Championship title.


Nadzeya Ostapchuk is a Belarusian shot putter who briefly became Olympic Champion in 2012. The day after she won the gold, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the then president of Belarus, awarded her the Third Class Order of the Fatherland for her professionalism and sporting achievements.

However she was soon stripped of the medal after testing positive for a banned substance. The gold medal was then awarded to New Zealand representative Valerie Adams. The Belarusian had also won the World Championship back in 2005, however in 2013 she was also stripped of that title.


Irina Korzhanenko is a former Russian shot putter. She first came to prominence when she won a bronze medal at the 1997 IAAF World Indoor Championship and then again soon after when she became European and World indoor champion. However she tested positive for doping and was stripped of her silver medal at the 1999 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Eventually she won the gold at the 2004 games but was stripped of the medal as it was revealed that she had tested positive for stanozolol.

Despite the failed drugs test she refused to return the medal. She retains the idea that the Russian government did not help her cover her tracks to defend herself. This is very controversial especially with the recent Russian government approved the doping scandal. This was back in 2004, it could be just a coincidence although that's extremely unlikely. So Russia how long have you actually encouraged your athletes to cheat to win?

So as you can see sometimes to be great is not enough to take home the gold, but surely it's better to win a silver or bronze medal legitimately than cheat to the gold, just to compete is an incredible honour. All these former heroes turned sports cheats have done is sullied their own name forever and damaged the legacy of these great games.

Do you think more drugs tests need to be conducted during the games? Have YOUR say in the comment box below.

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Tyson Gay
Team USA Olympics
Commonwealth Games
Usain Bolt
Mo Farah
Team GB

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