4 Doping Scandals That Changed Sports

Sports are interesting in whichever way we look at them. There have been tons of scandals and interesting stories which include sports and athletes. Some of the most interesting scandals have to do with doping, otherwise known as illegal substance usage, often referring to steroids.

There have been plenty of doping scandals throughout history but only some of them have changed sports. Here are the most important such scandals.

Tom Simpson Died – 1967

The world is often numb when it comes to statistics and people dying. However, when a single person dies, everybody is shaken. Cycling always had a problem with illegal substance usage, though at the time, amphetamines have been common. Cyclists would take them and some would have serious consequences.

Tom Simpson died after the 1967 Tour de France. He supposedly took amphetamines before the race and which unfortunately sealed his destiny. Apparently, amphetamines make the body use its water even more. On July 13, it was a very hot day and Tom Simpson most likely had a heart attack due to dehydration. It was not long after that the concept of steroids and performance enhancers was taken seriously in cycling and that such substances were banned.

Russia State Sponsored Doping – 2014

This is a recent case, where there have been tampering accusations and evidence of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Russian athletes still suffer for it, not being able to use their flag and anthem on Olympic Events. All of this came to light after the head of an anti-doping laboratory in Moscow decided to publish the results and findings in 2016. This revealed that plenty of competing Russian athletes were performing better than expected.

Lance Armstrong – The Cyclist that Got Caught

Cycling is still plagued by doping and steroids. In 2012, Lance Armstrong was stripped of all his Tour de France titles, as well as other trophies that he was awarded in the affected doping period. When looking back, Armstrong was quoted saying that he would have been using steroids if he went back in time, mostly because you were not able to compete without them. Everybody was using them at the time, even though they were and still are illegal. 

To this day, Armstrong is considered a cheater, but who can tell with the incredible results that professional cyclists have always shown.

70s and 80s East German Doping

During the 1970s and 1980s, East Germany had plenty of state-sponsored doping. They wanted their athletes to show superiority and win, which they did, but the cost was high. Plenty of these athletes and there were over 9000 cases of doping, were left with health problems, ranging from mild ones to cancer.

Doping and performance enhancement in sports is problematic and these scandals show why. While the most important ones, these are not nor will they be the only doping scandals in sports.