Doping and sports - 2000 - Olympics

2000 Olympics

At the Sydney Olympics, blood and urine tests to detect EPO were used for the first time. The medical committee provided for a maximum of four hundred specific checks. Controversial tests, because EPO is no longer detectable after 72 hours, while its operation still takes longer.

A study by the University of Colombia was harsh for the doping approach of the IOC, the scientists concluded that 90% of all Olympic athletes used performance-enhancing drugs and that the IOC did not do much about it. The reaction of the IOC :

"The U.S. is a country where in professional sports you see a lack of real anti-doping rules, where you see that one of the biggest heroes, (baseball player) Marc McGwire, is admitting taking androstenedione, which is forbidden in all other sports around the world. At the end of July, a former physician of the American Olympic Committee also complained that doping users in the United States are systematically left untouched."

Caught before the start

At the start of the Games the announced Chinese delegation was remarkably slimmed down. The controversial track and field coach Ma Junren (1944-) had to stay at home, along with six distance runners whose blood tests showed abnormal results. 21 other athletes, including four swimmers, were not allowed to compete after 'suspicious' test results.


Iranian boxer Anoushirvan Nourian (1972-) was not allowed to start his first fight at the lightweights, because he had been caught doping just before the Games.


American cyclist Tammy Thomas (1970-) was caught using testosterone during the trials in her own country, which made her forget the Games. The following year she tested positive on the previously unknown steroid Norbolethone. When inspector Tom McVay in 2002 ringed at her door for a test outside competition, she opened the door with half the face full of shaving foam. Besides a beard she also had chest hair, a deep voice and male baldness.

Following the notorious BALCO affair, she was suspended for life in 2008 and a judge sentenced her for three perjuries and for obstruction of the judicial investigation. What made the matter even more dramatic for her was that because of all those facts she could forget her career as a lawyer. Meanwhile, she had female traits again and became a personal trainer. She accused her former trainer of having abused her and also forcing her to dope.

During the Tour de France, French rider Emmanuel Magnien (1971-) was caught using corticoids, the UCI suspended him for three months and because of this he missed the Games.


Chinese swimmer Wu Yanyan (1978-), world record holder 200m medley, was caught using anabolic steroids during the Chinese trials and suspended for four years by her own swimming union. She therefore could forget the Games in Sydney.

A few months before the Games, Yevgeniya Yermakova (1976-) from Kazakhstan tested positive on diuretics during a swim meeting in Monaco and therefore she was not allowed to compete in Sydney.

Track and Field

Nigerian 800m runner, Dupe Osime tested positive on Nandrolone and for that reason she was not allowed to compete at the Sydney Games.

Just before the Games Simon Kemboi (1967-) was caught using Nandrolon, which meant that the Kenyan could forget his participation in the 4 x 400m.

Romanian fastwalker Claudia Stef-Iovan (1978-) was caught doping in May, she got a two-year suspension which meant she could forget the Sydney Games.


Because of their doping use, the International Weightlifters Federation banned the participation of two Taiwanese, one month before the start of the Games. One of the two was triple World Champion Chen Jui-Lien (1971-)

The Games themselves

Upon arrival in Australia, the customs founded suitcases from the Uzbek delegation full of hormones.

These Games were injusted by the massive doping use, every day at least one athlete was caught.

September 13

Taiwanese weightlifter Chen Po-pu (1988-), who reached the podium earlier during the Junior World Championships, was the first athlete at this Olympiad to be excluded due to doping. The news only became known in Sydney, but in a test in his own country he was caught using Methandienone.

Bulgarian far-jumper and tripple jumper iva Prandjeva (1972-) tested positive for Nandrolone. Four years before that in Atlanta it had already happened and then she got a two-year suspension. As a repeat offender, she was banned for life.

September 15

Romanian weightlifters Traean Ciharean (1969-), winner of the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics, and Andrei Mateias (1970-) (together on the picture) were sent home after their positive pee. Thereupon both were threatened with a hunger strike, but the IOC kept its foot down on which Ciharean, who was suspended for a lifelong suspension, mysteriously disappeared. Because Razvan Ilie (1976-) was caught earlier that year and was banned from the Romanian team, the IOC decided to send the entire 6-headed Romanian delegation home,

September 17

At the super heavy weights Norwegian weightlifter Stian Grimseth (1972-) had also been on the Nandrolone and so he was banished from Sydney. Grimseth screamed out his innocence and in 2002 he dragged the company American Universal Nutrition into Court because the leaflet of their dietary supplement Ribose did not mention that it contained anabolic steroids. An analysis of the product showed that it contained nandrolone. The case was finally settled amicably with several millions and Grimseth no longer felt a cheater. The IOC releaved him, in 2008 he won the Norwegian championship and later he went into politics as a member of the Conservative Party.

Romanian swimmer Cezar Badita (1979-), who was suspended for four years, could still take part in the 400m medley, because he appealed against his sentence. In the finals he finished seventh, but after the Olympics he got a ban after all.

The IOC suspended Russian 400m runner Svetlana Pospelova (1979-) because she tested positive for steroids during a test outside competition.

September 18

German Dieter Baumann (1965-), Olympic champion 5.000m in 1992, was suspended for two years because of a positive control on Nandrolone.

September 19

Ukrainian Alexandr Bagach (1966-), four years earlier in Atlanta third in the shot put, was caught for the third time and suspended for life.

September 20

After gaining the silver medal, Bulgarian weightlifter Ivan Ivanov Ivanov (1971-) tested positive for diuretics, so he had to hand in the medal and get a two-year suspension.

Hammer-thrower Vadim Devyatovsky (1977-) was sent back to Belarus after a positive out of competition test on Nandrolone.

Canadian rider Eric Lamaze (1968-) was caught and denied the use of cocaine.

Czech cyclist Jan Hruška (1975-) delivered a positive Nandrolone pee and could watch from the sidelines for six months.

September 22

Bulgarian weightleader Izabela Dragneva (1971-) had to surrender the gold medal after her victory in the category up to 53kg after a positive test on the diuretic Furosemide.

In the category up to 56kg, Bulgarian weightlifter Sevdalin Minchev Angelov (1974-) also tested positively on the diuretic Furosemide, as a result of which he lost his bronze medal. Weightlifters, but also other athletes, use diuretics to mask forbidden substances, but also to lose weight. The entire Bulgarian team was excluded: the new  'three strikes and out rule' of the International Weightlifting Federation, whereby a national federation is excluded for at least twelve months if three of its weightlifters test positive in the same calendar year. Another Bulgarian had already been caught earlier that year.

Armenian weightlifter Ashot Danielyan (1974-) won the bronze medal at the super heavy weights, but he also delivered a positive pee and had to surrender his medal.

Meanwhile, the weightlifting team from Qatar, which consisted of two former Bulgarians, had withdrawn from the Games for 'health reasons'.

September 24

At Andris Reinholds (1971-), a rower from Lithuania, Nandrolone was found in the urine and he also flew back home. Since it was not his first time, he got a lifetime suspension.

September 25

American shot putter C. J. Hunter (1968-), Marion Jones' (1975-) husband, also tested positive for Nadrolone. The following day Prince Alexandre de Mérode (1934-2002), the Belgian head of the Medical Commission of the IOC, reported that Hunter had been caught on Nandrolone four times in June and July. Hunter had learned his lesson and did not show up for the race for the title in Sydney due to 'injury'.

Olympic gold medal thanks to a clear 4-0 victory against American Brandon Slay (1975-), but wrestler Alexander Leipold (1969-) could only enjoy it for three days. When it turned out that the German used Nandrolone for that victory, he could hand in the gold and he was suspended for one year. During a wrestling camp in the Russian Tashkent, Leipold suffered a stroke, which made him paralyzed unilaterally. Later there were two more attacks, fortunately without any problems, so he quickly recovered and was able to wrestle back to competition.

American Marion Jones (1975) won five medals in Sydney. Two months before the Olympics, there had already been a stir when it turned out that her then man, shot putter C.J. Hunter (1968-), was caught doping. The ball came rolling when Victor Conte (1951-), owner of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), opened the book after an investigation team had invaded at his place. He confessed that he had provided a lot of athletes, including Hunter, with anabolics. A difficult moment for Jones, of course, because the rumors was running at full speed. In 2002, the couple divorced and Jones remarried Tim Montgomery (1975-), who achieved a new world record at 100m with 9.78 that year. But Montgomery was also called a user by Conte, which of course he denied. Later he confessed and he received two years of suspension. The rumors about the doping use of Jones swelled. At a certain moment she was suspended, but was acquitted again for lack of evidence. In 2007, however, she confessed that she had swallowed anabolic steroids for two years before the Games and she was suspended for life. Because of her lies, she received a six month jail punishment and afterwards she was financially ruined. Montgomery was convicted in 2006 for money laundering to 46 months in prison and two years later, he was given another five years for the heroin dealing. In 2009 he divorced Jones and remarried in prison with one of the mothers of his many children.

Jerome Young (1976-) was selected by the American Olympic Committee for the relay 4 x 400m, but he only ran the preliminary round. Research showed that he had also used Nandrolone. After a lot of discussions, the American team was allowed to keep the gold, because Young had not run the final. During the WC of 2003, Young crowned himself world champion 400m, in July 2004 he tested positive for EPO and was suspended for life.

To everyone's surprise, the American 4 x 400m team still lost its gold after Antonio Pettigrew (1967-2010) admitted in 2008 that he had been taking banned substances. When the twins Alvin (1974-) and Calvin Harrison (1974-) also confessed, the IOC took the gold from the Americans. Only Angelo Taylor (1978-), who only ran the preliminary round but won the 400m hurdles, and Michael Johnson (1967-), the gold medal in the 400m, denied the use of stimulants and were never caught. Johnson thought about handing in his medal because he felt "cheated, betrayed and let down"by Pettigrew's confession. In August 2010, Pettigrew was found dead in the back seat of his car. The autopsy showed that it was a suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Calvin Harrison, for his part, was not allowed to take part in the 2004 Games because he was caught at Modafinil during the 2003 World Cup, for which he was suspended for two years, while his twin brother, Alvin, even got four years for the intake of several banned substances.

Also Mongolian wrestler Oyuunbilegiin Pürevbaatar (1973-) was caught doping and excluded from the Games.

A big stir in gymnastics when the Romanian Olympic champion all-round Andrea Raducan (1983-) had to surrender her title after she was caught using pseudoephedrine and Nurofen.

September 27

In 1999 in Seville Romanian Mihaela Melinte (1975-) conquered the world title hammer-throw and that year she improved the world record three times in a row to pin it down to 76m07. Shortly before the Olympics, she tested positive for Nandrolone during the Notturna dui Milano, so she was not allowed to compete at the Olympiad. The Romanian athletics federation had forgotten to report that to her and so she appeared in the stadium, where she was thrown out with a two-year suspension on top.

Norwegian Fritz Aanes (1978-), fourth in Greco-Roman wrestling in the category up to 85kg, was suspended for two years because he had also used Nandrolone.

Greek backstroke swimmer Aikaterini 'Katerina' Bliamou (1982-) had also had taken Nandrolone and was suspended.

September 30

Lance Amstrong (1971-) won the bronze medal in the individual time trial, but the large-scale investigation that ended in 2012 showed that he was guilty of one or more doping rule violations and / or attempted violation of anti-doping rules, causing him to hand in his medal.


Paralympic Gunduz Ismayilov (1982-) from Azerbijdjan tested positive for anabolics, for which he was suspended for two years. Four years later in Athens, he was caught again and got a life sentence. Later that ban was lifted because his former girlfriend confessed that she had messed with his drinks out of revenge.