Doping in Olympic Sport – An Historical Timeline

With what some are calling the biggest doping scandal in Athletics history growing every day, it can no longer solely be about catching the athletes who are illegally doping for performance enhancement but also catching and preventing those National Anti-Doping Agencies (NADOs) that are enabling them to do so.

To understand the current stand point on the issue of doping in sport and its history, we have put together a timeline of athletes, personnel and organizations who have been banned due to violating the Anti-Doping Rules. This timeline includes cases from 2010 to the present, focusing on current Olympic sports. Only a handful of cases have been selected as in 2014 alone there were 1,462 Anti-Doping Rule Violations found out of 217,762 samples. These included 109 nationalities in 82 different sports.

April 2016 – Beijing’s National Anti-Doping laboratory – Suspended for a maximum of four months by the World Anti-Doping Agency after failing to comply with international standards.

April 2016 – Athletics – Russia is currently suspended from international athletics due to a report exposing widespread cheating and corruption within Russia’s anti-doping programme. If athletes are intending to compete in Rio they must undergo anti-doping controls conducted by the IAAF. These will include a minimum of three independently and externally administered anti-doping controls.

April 2016 – Rusada – A Moscow anti-doping laboratory which had been suspended by the Would Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in November 2015, had its accreditation revoked due to systematic failures within Russia’s anti-doping programme being identified by an independent commission.

April 2016 – Dr Gabriel Dollé – The former director of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF’s) medical and anti-doping department was placed under criminal investigation in November 2015 for allegedly taking bribes and being involved in a cover-up of positive Russian doping tests. However, it was stated in April 2016 that no one will face criminal charges in what some are calling the worst doping scandal in Russia’s history.

March 2016 – Tennis – Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova provisionally suspended from tennis for testing positive for a substance called meldonium at this year’s Australian Open. She has said she takes all responsibility as she didn’t read the renewed banned list by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) at the beginning of the year, so was not aware that this substance which she has been taking legally as medication since 2006 was a new addition.

March 2016 – Athletics – Kenya is currently under a deadline set by the WADA to implement new anti-doping measures. If they do not comply, all Kenyan track and field athletes could be banned from competing in Rio.

March 2016 – Athletics – Noah Ngeny, the Kenyan athletics representative, quit his post saying that the country’s sporting authorities were not doing enough to tackle this doping crisis. In the last three years Kenya has had 40 of its athletes banned for doping.

March 2016 – UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) – Appointed as the secretariat for an International Olympic Committee anti-doping taskforce which will oversee testing procedures and seek to fill any gaps or inconsistencies in all Olympic sports, whilst working alongside all relevant National Anti-Doping Organisations.

March 2016 – Athletics – Six Russian athletes are set to lose their medals after a court ruled that the Russian anti-doping agency, known as Rusada, had imposed bans on these athletes in a way that allowed them to keep their major titles. These athletes include race walkers Sergey Kirdyapkin, Sergei Bakulin and Olga Kaniskina and middle distance runner Yulia Zaripova who were suspended in January 2015 for violating anti-doping regulations.

December 2015 – Football – 22-year-old Brazilian football midfielder, Fred, banned for one year for testing positive to diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.

November 2015 – Grigory Rodchenko – The head of a Moscow lab admitted to intentionally destroying 1,417 samples in December 2014 before WADA officials were due to visit.

November 2015 – Athletics – The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) suspended Russian athletes from sports for doping abuse, including Russian athletics champion Maria Bespalova who was given a four-year ban, Maria Konovalova, a two-time bronze medalist of the Chicago marathon and two-time Russian champion, was also disqualified for 2 years with all her results were cancelled from August 14, 2009 and runners Vlas Bredikhin and Yaroslav Kholopov were suspended from competitions for four years while race walker Yevgeny Nushtayev got a six-month ban.

November 2015 – Weightlifting – Bulgaria’s weightlifters confirmed as not eligible to participate in Rio 2016 Olympic Games by The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). This is due to the special anti-doping policy for Rio 2016.

September 2015 – Football – A study commissioned by UEFA found that 68 out of 879 professional players recorded noticeably high levels of testosterone during 2008 to 2013. These high levels of testosterone could be a result of doping however they could also be natural. No tests were done to confirm either way.

August 2015 – ARD/WDR – A German broadcaster was given access to a database of more than 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 athletes after the biggest leak of blood test data in sporting history. It found that more than 800 athletes recorded very abnormal blood tests, 10 medals at the London 2012 Olympics were won by athletes who had very dubious test results, 21 athletes recorded blood values so extreme that they risked heart attacks or strokes and more than a third of the world’s fastest times in endurance events were achieved by athletes whose tests have triggered suspicion.

August 2015 – Athletics – Turkish middle-distance runner Asli Cakir-Alptekin banned for 8 years and stripped of the gold medals she won at the London Olympics and 2012 European Championships.

March 2015 – Weightlifting – Eight Bulgarian weightlifters, including three European champions, and three female athletes, tested positive for banned anabolic steroids at a training camp.

March 2015 – Weightlifting – Demir Demirev (former European champion), Ivan Markov and Ivaylo Filev (2014 European champions) and female weightlifter Milka Maneva banned for positive drugs tests.

March 2015 – Tennis – Wayne Odesnik, the American Tennis player was banned for another 15 years after a second offence, testing positive for a number of banned substances including steroids. His first offence in March 2010 was for pleading guilty to importing human growth hormone into Australia were he was suspended for two years however this was later reduced to one year.

January 2015 – Athletics – Russian heptathlete Tatyana Chernova tested positive for a banned steroid after a sample that was collected in 2009 was retested. She has now received a two-year ban backdating to July 2013 and has been stripped of all of her results from August 2009 to August 2011.

January 2015 – Athletics – Olympic 3000m steeplechase gold medallist Yuliya Zaripova was handed a doping ban for two and a half years, backdated from July 2013 and her results will be annulled from June 2011 to August 2011 and July 2012 to September 2012.

January 2015 – Athletics – The Olympic walking champions Valeriy Borchin, Sergey Kirdyapkin and Olga Kaniskina as well as Russia’s 2011 world champion Sergey Bakulin and 2011 world championship silver medallist Vladimir Kanaykin were suspended after they were found guilty of violating anti-doping regulations.

April 2014 – Athletics – Liliya Shobukhova suspended for three year and two-month and her London Marathon win and 2009, 2010 and 2011 Chicago titles stripped due to abnormalities found in her biological passport. Her sentence was reduced by seven months by WADA in return for substantial assistance from the athlete.

September 2014 – Athletics – Winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, Rita Jeptoo, a high profile Kenyan athlete was banned for two years after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

August 2013 – Athletics – Two year suspensions were given to 31 athletes by the Turkish Athletics Federation for drug offences including Olympic medallist Esref Apak.

July 2013 – Tennis – Tennis player Viktor Troicki banned for 18 months (reduced to 12months) after refusing to take a blood test at a tournament in Monte Carlo claiming he was feeling unwell.

June 2013 – Athletics – Jamaican 4x100m relay silver medallist Sherone Simpson suspended for 18 months after testing positive for a banned stimulant at the Jamaican trials.

June 2013 – Athletics – Allison Randall who competes for Jamaica in the woman’s discus confirmed a positive drugs test at the Jamaican trails.

June 2013 – Athletics – Asafa Powell, the all-time fourth quickest sprinter and former 100m record holder, suspended for 18 months after a positive doping test at the Jamaican Championships.

June 2013 – Athletics – America former 100m and 200m world champion Tyson Gay tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid and suspended for a year.

June 2013 – Athletics – The Jamaican two-time Olympic 200-metres champion Veronica Campbell-Brown won an appeal against a secretly imposed two-year doping ban and has been cleared to compete with immediate effect.

May 2013 – Tennis – Former top-10 tennis player Marin Cilic was suspended for nine months for a doping violation. He was given a reduced penalty rather than two years as the International Tennis Federation accepted that he may have ingested the substances inadvertently in glucose tablets.

August 2012 – Cycling – USADA immediately stripped Lance Armstrong of all of his athletic titles going back to August 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins and was banned him from competing in Olympic or other elite-level sports for the rest of his life. This is after he has refused to fight allegations that he has used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.

February 2012 – Cycling – Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title and banned for two years after found guilty of doping.

June 2012 – Athletics – The IAAF confirmed that Kenyan long distance runners Mathew Kisorio, Ronald Kipchumba, Rael Kiyara and Jemima Jelagat Sumgongall were found to have positive doping tests and were banned.

June 2012 – Athletics – Mathew Kisorio spoke out about doping being a commonplace in Kenya and that he was told he wasn’t the only one. Athletics Kenya suspended Mathew Kisorio however did not look further into his allegations of Kenyan Athletics.

December 2011 – Athletics – Three of India’s 4x400m athletes in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji, banned for 1 year each after failing doping tests. Three other Indian runners including sprinters Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas and quarter miler Priyanka Panwar were also banned for a year each. Indian long jumper Harikrishnan Muralidharan was banned for two years.

December 2011 – Athletics – In light of the failed doping tests, India's Ukrainian track and field coach Yuri Ogorodnik was sacked.

July 2011 – Football – FIFA found five North Korean soccer players tested positive for steroids at the Woman’s World Cup.

January 2010 – Cycling – Cyclist Floyd Landis, who was banned for two years in 2006 and stripped of his Tour de France win, admitted to using performance enhancing drugs including EPO, HGH, testosterone and blood transfusions throughout his career. He does not feel guilty about having doped and see it as a choice he had to make to win. However, he still maintains that he was clean for his 2006 win of the Tour de France where he failed his positive drugs test,

October 2010 – Athletics – Indian walker Rani Yadav tested positive for the banned anabolic agent at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and was suspended.

October 2010 – Athletics – Nigerian sprinter, Damola Osayomi and hurdler, Samuel Okon also tested positive for a banned stimulant. Osayemi was stripped of the women's 100m gold medal.

May 2010 – Cycling – Cyclist Alejandro Valverde, was handed a worldwide doping ban after he was found to have broken anti-doping rules four years ago, with DNA evidence linking him to an athletes' blood-doping ring. Despite never failing a doping test the International Cycling Union [UCI] and WADA successfully appealed to Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] over the Spaniard's involvement in the Operation Puerto doping scandal in 2006.

For those of you that like numbers, in 2014, 21260 athletes were tested when competing in Olympic recognised athletic events with 213 athletes being found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. These Anti-Doping Rule Violations are only 1.00% of samples collected which is down from 1.18% in 2013.

Another sport that known for its doping is weightlifting. In 2013, 252 weightlifters out of 8533 were found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. This was 2.95% of athletes tested.

Professional boxing has a history with doping and according to the stats so does its Olympic counterpart of amateur boxing with 1% of boxers in 2013 being found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. This was 42 out of 4210 athletes tested.

Unfortunately, WADA have not yet published the results for 2015 so no data or comparison is available.

Please note, every effort has been made to ensure this list is as accurate as possible. Not all items imply guilt with numerous instances being reported on in the mainstream media. We take no responsibility for the accuracy of the media reports where this list was sourced.