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Olympic Games scandals

From Academic Kids

Both the Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games have been marred by various incidents and scandals. They include:

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1912 Summer Olympics

The U.S. athlete Jim Thorpe is stripped of his gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon after it is learned that he played professional minor league baseball one summer three years earlier. In solidarity, the decathlon silver medalist refuses to accept the medal when offered to him. The gold medals are restored to Thorpe in 1983, 30 years after his death.

1932 Summer Olympics

After winning the silver in equestrian dressage, the Swede Bertil Sandström is demoted to last for clicking to his horse to encourage it, though he asserts it was a creaking saddle making the sounds.

1936 Summer Olympics

The I.O.C. expels American Ernest Lee Jahnke, the son of a German immigrant, for encouraging athletes to boycott Hitler's Berlin Games. He is replaced by U.S.O.C president Avery Brundage, who supported the Games.

In the cycling match sprint finals, the German Toni Merkens fouls Dutchman Arie van Vliet. Instead of disqualification Merkens is fined 100 Reichmarks and keeps the gold.

1968 Winter Olympics

Three East German competitors in the women's luge event are disqualified for illegally heating their runners prior to each run.

1988 Summer Olympics

Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is stripped of his gold medal for the 100 Metre Dash when he tests positive for anabolic steroids after the event.

1994 Winter Olympics

Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of figure skater Tonya Harding, arranges for an attack on her closest rival, Nancy Kerrigan, prior to the start of the Games. Both women compete, with Kerrigan winning the silver and Harding doing very poorly.

2000 Summer Olympics

Romanian Andreea Răducan became the first gymnast to be stripped of a medal because of a drug violation. She was removed of the gold obtained at the Women's Individual All-Around after testing positive for pseudoephedrine, a banned drug. Răducan, 16, took Nurofen, a common over-the-counter medicine, to help treat a fever. The Romanian team doctor who gave her the drug in two cold medicine pills was expelled from the Games and suspended through the 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. The gold medal was finally awarded to Răducan's team mate Simona Amânar, who had obtained silver. Răducan was allowed to keep her other medals, a gold from the team competition and a silver from the vault.

2002 Winter Olympics

A number of I.O.C. members are forced to resign after it is uncovered that they have accepted inappropriately valuable "gifts" in return for voting for Salt Lake City to hold the Games.

See: 2002 Winter Olympic bid scandal for full details.

Figure skating: Dual gold medals are awarded in pairs figure skating, to Canadian pair David Pelletier and Jamie Salé and to Russian pair Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, after allegations of collusion among judges.

Cross-country skiing: Three cross-country skiers are disqualified after blood tests indicates the use of darbepoetin, a drug intended to boost red blood cell production. The skiers are Johann Mühlegg of Spain, and Larissa Lazutina and Olga Danilova of Russia. Following a December 2003 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the I.O.C in February 2004 withdraws all the doped athletes' medals of the Games, amending the result lists accordingly.

2004 Summer Olympics

Ongoing, see Scandals of the 2004 Summer Olympics.

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