Doping and sports - 2008


In 2008, 1,976 doping controls were conducted in Belgium in a competition context, of which 14 were atypical, 104 had abnormal results and 14 tests were refused, resulting in a total of 6.7% doping cases. Out of competition there were 666 tests, of which 9 were atypical, 2 had abnormal results and 3 tests were refused.

In the British scientific journal The Lancet, Swedish Professor of Pharmacology Folke Sjöqvist (1933-) of the Karolinski Institute published the article 'Use of doping agents, particularly anabolic steroids, in sports and society', in which it was reported that about three million Americans used anabolic steroids. Most were young adults. The article also mentioned that in High Schools 12% of boys and 3.3% of girls experimented with doping.

For the first time, a US court sentenced an athlete for illegal doping to six months in prison and repaying eight hundred thousand dollars in prize money.

The French anti-doping commission AFLD conducted a study into hair samples to detect the use of anabolics. Of the 138 professional athletes from football, rugby, athletics and cycling, 13.8% delivered a positive testosterone test. Among football players, most of the doping cases were noted, 21.8% tested positive.

A German study found that 13 to 16% of fitness center customers had experience with doping use. Extrapolated to the data provided by the Arbeitgeberverband deutscher Fitness- und Gesundheits-Anlagen (employers' association of German fitness and health facilities) that meant hundreds of thousands of registered customers for Germany alone.

Together with more than 90 other countries, the United States signed the International UNESCO Convention against the Use of Doping in Sport on 4 August 2008. This was important for the USDA in view of Chicago's candidacy for the organization of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Doping in the GDR

In July 2008, former shot putter Gerd Jacobs (1950-2015) accused his former GDR trainer Werner Goldmann (1951-) of having doped him during his sports career in the 1980s. Jacobs had a congenital heart defect that he was not aware of, but the high doses of Oral-Turinabol that Goldmann gave him aggravated the defect so much that in 2004 he had to receive a heart transplant. Other interventions followed as his lungs and kidneys gradually began to fail. He died at the age of 55. It later emerged that Jacobs had worked for the Stasi from 1986 to 1988.

American football

Ryan Fowler (1982-) played linebacker with the Tenneseer Titans in the American National Football League. A week before he killed his girlfriend with a colt and afterwards committed suicide, steroid dealer David Jacobs (1953-2008) stated that Fowler also belonged to his clientele.


William Clemens (1962-), who was a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, is said to have used anabolica according to the Mitchell report. Clemens, nicknamed 'Rocket', whose name appeared no less than 82 times, swore under oath all the allegations on which Congress referred his case to the Ministry of Justice on suspicion of perjury.

Spaniard Daniel Rios (1972-) and Luis Gonzalez (1979-) from Venezuela, both active in the Japanese baseball competition, tested positive for Stanozolol and were suspended for a year.

J.C. Romero (1976-) from Puerto Rico played pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies when he was suspended for fifty games in August for a positive test on androstenedion. Romero stated that he had purchased the 6-OXO Extreme nutritional supplement from Ergopharm in the Vitamin Shop in New Jersey that two different nutritional specialists had prescribed it. When he stopped taking it, he did indeed test negative. Because of his suspension he lost 1.25 million dollars and he took Ergopharm and Vitamin Shop to court.


American Qyntel Woods (1981-), forward at Olympiacos Athens, was caught using marijuana after the Greek Basketball final, and his contract was broken.


Bobsleigh pilot Serge Despres (1978-) tested positive for nadrolone and was therefore suspended for two years. He was no longer allowed by the Canadian Federation to train on the slopes of Calgary and Whistler BC. He was stunned because this decision also broke him financially. He argued that the amount of nandrolone found was so small that it produced no significant changes in his performance.


After the boxing tournament between the United States, China and Kazakhstan, American Sadam Ali (1988-) was caught using Cathine, a banned substance from Khat. Normally that would mean a two years suspension, but his doctor was able to prove that he had prescribed Ali a cure for his cold, so he only had to leave for three months, allowing him to go to the Olympics.


The Bonn public prosecutor offered Jan Ulrich (1973-) a proposal for a friendly settlement of his involvement in the doping scandal 'Operation Puerto', but he also immediately denied that an agreement was near. According to the German media, the investigators wanted a confession from the Tour winner in 1997 and that he would pay a heavy fine in exchange for classifying the whole case without consequence. Ulrich maintained his innocence, but risked being accused of fraud, because he had won contests with the help of prohibited products and thereby misled the public, sponsors and team members. Analyzes showed that the DNA of some seized blood bags from the Puerto affair was similar to that of Ulrich.

When Italian Riccardo Riccò (1983-) won two stages in the Giro d’Italia and lead the mountain classification and the youth classification as well, before the start of the twelfth stage it was announced that he had tested positive for CERA. The Italian police arrested him and his team Saunier Duval left the Giro. A few days later, Riccò was fired and at the hearing before the Italian Olympic Committee he admitted the use. He was subsequently suspended for two years, which was subsequently reduced to twenty months for his help to the French authorities in their search for other sinners. A new doping test against Riccò was opened in February 2011 when he ended up in hospital after a self-administered and wrong blood transfusion. That same week his team put him inactive. In March of that year, he gave up cycling. In April 2012, the Italian anti-doping tribunal suspended him for twelve years. In 2014, Riccò was caught again purchasing doping products.

In the Tour of the Sarthe, just before the Giro d’Italia, Argentinian Maximiliano Richeze (1983-) tested positive for the use of anabolica, which prevented his team from taking part in the Giro. Initially, the Argentinian cycling association acquitted him, but the Higher Sport Appeal in Lausanne suspended him for two years.

Two days before the start of the Tour of Belgium, during a non-competition check, traces of cocaine were found at Belgian Tom Boonen (1980-). Although he was not immediately suspended, both the organizers of the Tour of Switzerland and those of the Tour de France refused to let him start. In February 2009, Boonen was found guilty by the court for the use and possession of drugs. He was suspended because the judge found that Boonen had already been punished enough by loss of income and negative media interest. In May 2009, it was announced that Boonen had reacted positively to cocaine again after the Scheldeprijs in Schoten in a non-competitive check, but that he also tested positive for cocaine and XTC in December 2007.

To the great surprise of the Dane himself, the organizers of the Tour de France Bjarne Riis (1964-) gave back his 1996 victory.

"We add him back to the list, but we also mention under his name that he admitted he was doped," was the communiqué of the Tour Directorate.

Spaniard Manuel Beltrán (1971-) was caught using EPO after the first stage of the Tour de France, as a result of which he received a two-year suspension and his employer Liquigas had to pay € 100,000 in damages. When the samples were re-tested in 1998, it turned out that he had already used that product at the time.

The Saunier Duval team fired its Italian riders Leonardo Piepoli (1971-) (photo) and Riccardo Riccò (1983-), after the entire team had to leave the Tour when Riccò was caught on EPO. In October of that year, it emerged that during that Tour Piepoli had even peeed positive twice, once on EPO, the other time on Cera. Both were excluded from competition for two years. Piepoli admitted humbly:

"I am disgusted by myself for being doped. The day before the Tour I killed the best of myself. I killed the cycling sport that was my whole life. I trampled my dignity, my conscience, and disappointed myself."

Moments later Emanuele Sella (1981-) came in the news negatively. A non-competition check showed that he had used Cera. A year's suspension was the verdict, a mild punishment because he cooperated will with the justice.

Spaniard Moisés Dueñas (1981-) delivered a positive test on EPO after the time trial in the Tour de France. After that fourth leg, forty police officers invaded the hotel of his team at Barloworld, where they found syringes, needles and a transfusion bag in the Spaniard's room. He had to leave the Tour, was thrown out at Barloworld and was suspended for two years.

Dmitri Fofonov (1976-) from Kazakhstan tested positive for heptaminol after the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France, which meant that he was no longer allowed to race for three months. He later became team leader at Astana.

German Robert Lechner (1967-), winner of the bronze medal in the kilometer time trial during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, confessed to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeinen that he had used doping during his career. He also pointed out the dangers of doping injections, which he had overlooked as a young athlete. Prior to his success at the Olympics, he had taken anabolic steroids, testosterone and cortisone. The drugs were recommended to him, prescribed and administered by the former doctor of the German Cycling Union. When he came down with Pfeiffer's disease he attriubuted it to his weakened immune system due to doping.

"Doping products remain doping products. But I am convinced that they have damaged my performance and my health."

The Swiis newspaper 'Basler Zeitung' revealed that countryman Pascal Richard (1964-) had won his 1996 Olympic cycling title in Atlanta thanks to prohibited products. The Swiss newspaper based its statement on quotes from the team doctor, who had seen Richard inject himself into the thigh, but due to professional secrecy, he did not want to say anything more about this.

At the end of 2008 former American cyclist Joe Papp (1975-) ratted on his fellow countryman Kayle Leogrande (1977-). Because he had found himself in a difficult position due to doping problems, Papp decided to cooperate in the investigation. He therefore disclosed the EPA use of Leogrande, who was suspended for two years. Leogrande admitted that use but stated that he had bought the EPA from Papp. Leogrande made a huge mistake when he moved out of his house urgently in 2007 and left an unopened box of EPO in the fridge. The owner of the apartment handed the box to the FDA. In 2017, he was suspended by USADA for eight years after he tested positive on seven different products in an enthusiastic race.

German Philip Schulz (1979-) was caught using doping and subsequently made use of the crown witness scheme offered to him by the German doping agency NADA. His revelations led to the roll-up of a large doping network in amateur cycling in Rhineland-Palatinate. Instead of the usual two years, he was therefore only suspended for one year.

Figure skating

Russian Yuri Larionov (1986-) formed a successful pair with figure skating Vera Bazarova (1993-). Together they won six Grand Prix's, they won silver and bronze medals at the European Championship and a silver medal at the World Championship, and in 2012 the Russian championship. In January 2008 they had to surrender the gold medal of the Grand Prix for Juniors after a positive blood sample. Larionov as a perpetrator received a two-year suspension on top of that which was later reduced to eighteen months.


French sports physician Jean-Pierre Mondenard (1943-) published the article 'Ca dégage dur dans le Calcio' ('It's hard in the Calcio'), in which he elaborated on the mysterious epidemic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), to which thousands of Italian footballers suffered. The experts put forward three hypotheses for this phenomenon:

  • leg and head injuries,
  • performance enhancing means and
  • toxic substances with which the football fields were sprayed.

The most likely cause was a combination of the three.

Armando Segato (1930-1973), the first soccer player to die at a young age from the effects of ALS,

followed by Fulvio Bernardini (1905-1984), Giorgio Rognoni (1946-1986), Guido Vincenzi (1932-1997), Albano Canazza (1962-2000), Gianluca Signorini (1960-2002),

Lauro Minghelli (1973-2004), Adriano Lombardi (1945-2007), Stefano Borgonovo (1964-2013) and Paolo List (1963-2016).

Italian Mark Iuliano (1973-) was caught using cocaine after the game of his team Ravenna Calcio against Cesena, and he was suspended for two years, after which he ended his career.

When Inaki Badiola (1964-) became president of the Spanish-Basque football team Real Sociedad in 2008, he noted to his great consternation that team physician Eufemiaio Fuentes (1955-) spent € 300,000 a year on the purchase of medicines between 2002 and 2008. Fuentes was immediately fired with a fellow sports physician.

Goalkeeper Jon Conway (1977-) and defender Jeff Parke (1982-) of the New York Red Bulls were the first players in the American football competition to test positive for androstadienon and boldenon. They were each given a 10-day suspension and 10% of their annual salary was withheld.

Ice hockey

Just after recordeing his fifth goal of the season just before, 19-year-old Russian Alexey Tscherepanow (1989-2008) died on the bench during a home game of his ice hockey team Awangard Omsk. The autopsy afterwards pointed to the use of blood doping and the stimulant Cordiamin.

Mixed Martial Arts

The use of doping in the mixed martial arts was not as pronounced as the year before, but still many practitioners were caught.

A urine test by American James Lee Irvin (1978-) yielded a positive result for methadone and oxymorphone, for which he was suspended for twelve months and was fined twenty thousand dollars. In 2011 he again tested positive, this time on the epitrenbolone metabolite trenbolone, a steroid used for muscle building by body builders, but also for fattening animals. He was suspended for two American competitions and decided to come and fight in Europe.

Brazilian Pequeno Nogueira (1978-) tested positive for Boldenon and received a $ 2,500 fine and a one-year suspension.

Brazilian Antonio Silva (1979-) and his American challenger Edwin Dewees (1982-) also turned out to have taken recourse to prohibited means, which meant a year of watching from the side and a fine of $ 2,500. According to Silva's manager Alex Davis, his pupil tested positive by taking Novedex, a testosterone booster that he had to take to increase his low testosterone level caused by acromegaly. The product would have cost him 6 to 8,000 USD a month.

Brazilian Carina Damm (1979-) enjoyed the dubious honor of being the first female mixed martial artist to test positive. Nandrolone was found with her, which meant a one-year suspension and a $ 2,500 fine. In 2013 she had to fight against the American Jessica Eye (1986-), but the urine sample she had to hand in for the camp was not hers, and she had to pay a fine of 550 USD and was suspended for six months.

Not only was American Chris Leben (1980-) thundered by British Michael Bisping (1979-), he also appeared to have been at the Stanozolol, for which he was suspended for nine months and had to surrender a third of his scholarship. A few months before, he had been imprisoned for 35 days for drunk driving. In 2010, he was arrested again in Honolulu, Hawaii for the same reason. In 2011 he lost the fight against Filipino American Mark Muñoz (1978-) and the test afterwards revealed the use of oxycodone and oxymorphone, on which he was suspended for a year.


During a press conference, the IBU announced that Russian biathletes Dmitri Yaroshenko (1976-), Albina Achatowa (1976-) and Yekaterina Jurjewa (1983-) had been caught using EPO during the World Cup in Östersund and were suspended for two years.

Traces of cannabis were found after the Norwegian Cup Race in Norwegian Lars Bystøl (1978-), who participated in both the ski jumping and the Norwegian combination. In a 2009 interview with the magazine 'Se og Hør', he confessed that custom, and was suspended for four months. In September he announced his retirement. But the Norwegian also had a serious drinking problem. In 2000, after the farewell party for the Continental Cup in Innsbruck, he was sent back home because he was drunk. Later that year, he was stopped with 2.38 percent alcohol in the blood at the wheel of a car, for which he was imprisoned for fourteen days. In 2003 he fell into the water drunk during a fight in the port of Oslo. In 2007, he was again heavily influenced and arrested during a fight. In 2009, he confirmed to Norwegian daily newspaper Se og Hør that traces of THC had been found during a test a few months earlier for which he was suspended for four months. A few months later, he announced his retirement from competitive sport.

Sumo wrestling

Wakanoho Toshinori (1988-), born in Russia as Soslan Aleksandrovich Gagloev, was the first sumo wrestler to be suspended for doping. Upon his arrest, the police found two bags of cannabis, a rolled joint, and a drug pipe that he had bought at a club in Roppogi, a suburb of Tokyo. In January 2009, Wakanoho paid 5.8 million yen to the Japanese sumo federation and cut his hair at a hotel in Tokyo, a humiliation that indicated that his sumo career had ended.


In 2008, the international swimming federation FINA again published an impressive list of doping sinners.

Suspended for two years were Russian swimmer Anastasiya Ivanenko (1989-) (photo1) for use of furosemide, Russian swimmer Anatoly Polyakov (1980-) for boldenone, Moroccan water polo player Mehdi Sebou (1987-) and Angolan swimmer Nuno Miguel Cardoso Rola (1983-) for nadrolon, Egyptian swimmer Asmaa Kataria for ephedrine, Brazilian swimmer Rebecca Gusmao (1984-) and South Korean swimmer Hae-In Shin for testosterone, South African swimmer Keri-Leigh Shaw (1990-) (photo2) ) for clenbuterol and ephedrine, Tunisian swimmer Sabri Jari for refusing a check, Italian water polo player Ivan Caprari and French water polo player Zviad Davitiani for cocaine, Italian marathon swimmer Alessandro Rivellini (1982-) for EPO, Russian water polo player Youri Mikulchin for carfedone, Italian swimmer Federico Turrini (1987-) for 19-norandrosterone, Russian swimmer Natalia Lotsova (1988-) for morphine, and Brazilian swimmer Rogerio Karfunkelstein (1976-) (photo3) for stanozolol.

One year suspension for French water polo player Fabien Le Bec for cannabis.

Eight months for Norwegian swimmer Thomas Fagerli for cannabis.

Six months for Italian water polo player Luca Michieletto (1988-) (photo) and French water polo player Yann San Biagio for cannabis,

Five months for French water polo player Arthur Auray for cannabis.

Three months for French water polo players Mickael Bodegas (1987-) (photo1), Hugo Roux and Jérémy Landy (1990-) (photo2) for cannabis.

Two months for Italian water polo player Michele Aureli for betamethasone, Italian water polo player Laura La Piana (1981-) for octopamine, French water polo player Julien Colchen for terbutaline.

One month with five months of probation for Belgian water polo player Kevin Mestdag (1989-) for cannabis.

Track and Field

Austrian Susanne Pumper-Fischer (1970-) and Slovenian Helena Javornik (1966-) were caught using EPO after the Viennese half-marathon Eisbährlauf. Both received a two-year suspension but they cried out their innocence. Pumper played the game hard, she applied for a place in the board at her club LCC Wien and when she succeeded, the chairman left the club together with his wife and nine top athletes. In 2012, Pumper even became president of the club.

She was coached by Helmut Stechemesser (1953-), a former sports physician from the GDR who was not ready for testing. Stechemesser first graduated from the Deutschen Hochschule für Körperkultur (DHfK) in Leipzig and then started studies in Medicine. In 1984 he graduated as a specialist in sports medicine and worked in the sports medicine department of DHfK, focusing on the performance diagnostics of endurance sports. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he started as a sports physician in Aspach, Austria. He became the medical director of a local rehabilitation center and he guided several German biathletes and cross-country skiers. He also worked as an athletics coach with athletes such as Stefan Matschiner (1975-), Theresia Kiesl (1963-), Stephanie Graf (1973-), Susanne Pumper (1970-), Simon Vroemen (1969-) and Jolanda Ceplak (1976-).

In 2007, Slovenian 800m runner Jolanda Ceplak (1976-) received a two-year suspension for EPO use and Dutch steeple-runner Simon Vroemen (1969-) was caught using metandienon in 2008, while in the home of Austrian 1500m- runner Theresia Kiesl (1996-) large amounts of growth hormone were found.

Austrian 1500-meter runner Stefan Matschiner (1975-) maintained intensive contacts with the Wiener Blutbank Humanplasma, where offen blood transfusions were performed. After his sporting career he became a sports manager. In 2008 he was accused of blood doping by Austrian rider Bernhard Kohl (1982-) and in 2009 by Austrian triathlete Lisa Hütthaler (1983-). It earned him a 15 month prison sentance, of which 14 months were on probation. After this he ratted on many athletes, care takers and clubs. He admitted to selling a blood centrifuge to sports physician Mark Schmidt, who was accused of doping aid during operation Aderlass 2019

At a press conference in November 2009, Austrian 800-meter runner Stephanie Graf (1973-) revealed that she had returned blood to the Wiener Blutbank Humanplasma in 2003, but that she had never had it injected again.

In December 2011, triathlete Lisa Hütthaler (1983-) announced that in October 2008 she had sold twenty thousand EPA units and thirty thousand Dynepo units to Pumper. In September 2013, Pumper-Fischer was suspended for eight years as a repeat offender.

Chinese racewalker Song Hongjuan (1984-) received a four-year suspension for her EPO use.

Russian javelin thrower Lada Chernova (1970-) was suspended for two years after she was caught using Meetolone. On her return in February 2012, she tested positive for bromantan and received lifelong exclusion.


In 2004 Austrian Lisa Hütthaler (1983-) became national champion duathlon and in 2007, 2012 and 2013 she won that title in the half triathlon. In March 2008, during an unannounced training check, she was caught using EPO for which she was suspended for two years. Because she confessed and cooperated with the investigation, that punishment was subsequently reduced to eighteen months. She also confessed the use of blood doping and testosterone. In March 2009 she told her entire story in an interview with the Austrian daily Kurier. She named pediatrician Andreas Zoubek and sports manager Stefan Matschiner (1975-) as suppliers. In 2006 and 2007, Zoubek is said to have injected her twice a thousand units of EPA, which he took out of the hospital pharmacy but never paid. He had passed them on to Hütthaler. For this he had to cough up 19,600 euros. Matschiner, for his part, was arrested in 2009 and sentenced for supplying EPO. His first customers were Kenyan runners. In 2006, he came into the picture in a doping scandal surrounding the Turin Winter Olympics when he stayed at the home of Austrian former cross-country skier Walter Mayer (1957-), who was then suspended as a coach for four years for distributing EPO. During that period Matschiner worked closely with the former bodybuilder Manfred Kiesl, in whose house many doping products were found in 1997. He was also the confidant of the riders Michael Rasmussen (1974-) and Bernhard Kohl (1982-) who both also were caught on doping. Because of Hütthaler's confessions and after Kohl also confessed, Matschiner was arrested in October 2010 and sentenced to 15 months in custody. In the interview, Hütthaler also stated that, on the advice of former rider Hannes Hempel (1973-), she had offered fifty thousand Euros to a research lab assistant to conceal the results. She also revealed that drug enthusiasts were even intensively drugged, that she had been involved in doping since she was eighteen and that she was dealing in doping. In June 2009 she ended up in prison for three months for bribery. In 2010 she made her come back and two years later she won the Austrian championship and finished second in the Tristar 111 in Cannes. In 2013 she won the triathlons of Mallorca and St Pölten and became Austrian champion for the third time. In 2014, she renewed the victories of Mallorca and St Pölten, crowned herself again Austrian champion, but also won the European title in the half triathlon.

Dmitriy Gaag (1971-) a triathlete from Kazakhstan, was suspended for two years in September because of the use of EPO.


In August 2008, the German weekly 'Stern' published the report 'Siegen um jeden Preis' (Win at any price) about former Chinese weightlifter Chunlan Zou (1972-), who started at the age of 13 her sporting career at the Eliteschool for Sport in Changchun. However, there was no time to take lessons, the athlete and her parents then believed in a better life. She got her own bed, good food, meat every day and a lot of traveling to competitions. But she was given the male hormone 'Da Li Wan', freely translated 'the power pill'. In addition, her trainer also gave her syringes and other medicines. The young girl herself did not have the slightest sense of what she received, but she did become somewhat suspicious when she suddenly got a heavy voice and grew a beard. She won a lot of medals, was crowned national champion in her weight class and improved the world record of punches. Due to an injury, she suddenly had to stop her career.

"I had a broken vertebral column and a weak heart, and for a few Yuan I had to scrub the men's backs every day from then on in the bathroom until I dropped. And that just to survive."

She was operated on several times to cover up the noticeable effects of anabolics, scars caused by acne were eliminated as much as possible and a fist-sized Adam's apple was scraped away. Because her womb was underdeveloped, she would never have children. When all this leaked out, the Chinese government compensated her with seventeen thousand Euros in material, with which she opened a launderette and, together with her husband, had her make a free photo reportage of her marriage six years later. The condition was that she was not allowed to talk to anyone about her sporting past.

Moldavian Igor Bour (1984-) crowned himself as European champion in the category up to 56 kg, but the check afterwards showed that he had been in the metandienon. It took him four years of suspension. In 2013 he won the silver medal at the European Championship, but after that title fight he again tested positive and received a lifetime suspension.


Reigning world champion Joe Warren (1976-) was a favorite for the Olympic title in Greco-Roman wrestling. But due to a positive test on THC, a derivative of marijuana, the American was suspended for two years before the Games and he switched to mixed martial arts.

Iranian wrestler Ali Reza Gharibi (1974-) was caught using methamphetamine during the national championship Greek-Roman style and given it was the second time he received a lifelong suspension.