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    Made in the USA: The Biggest Doping Scandals in American Sporting History

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    The US sports officials’ eagerness to bash Russia for alleged doping violations is apparently not stymied by the considerable number of confirmed doping infractions committed by their fellow countrymen. Here is a brief list of some of the more notable doping scandals involving US athletes that erupted during the past two decades.

    US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart valiantly slammed the reinstatement of the Russian anti-doping watchdog RUSADA by WADA, accusing Russia of running “one of the most sophisticated doping programs.”

    However, in his eagerness to expose doping violations and cheating, Tygart apparently decided to let bygones be bygones and neglected to mention a number of high-profile cases of confirmed doping violations where the culprits were US athletes.

    Here are just some of the most prominent doping scandals in the history of the United States.

    Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong became an international celebrity after his first Tour de France victory in 1999 — an evidently determined cyclist and cancer survivor, his life story was romantically broadcast throughout the Western media. His legend grew with each successive Tour de France victory — seven in total.

    However, Armstrong's fable abruptly and unceremoniously ended when his title septet was revoked in 2012, after the elaborate doping scheme that powered his cycling triumphs was unravelled. The exposure also led to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoking the bronze medal Armstrong won for the men's road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics — although he refused to return the trinket for some time afterward.

    Marion Jones

    Armstrong wasn't the only American competitor in the 2000 Sydney Olympics implicated in doping.

    A 2003 investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, an organization that supplied steroids to a number of prominent athletes, implicated champion sprinter Marion Jones in the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

    Under intense media pressure, Jones admitted in 2007 to using a designer steroid known as ‘the clear', alleging she first used the performance enhancing drug mere weeks prior to the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. 

    Jones returned the five medals she won in those games, including gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter races, and 4 x 400-meter relay, and bronze medals for long jump and the 4 x 100-meter relay. All of Jones' race results after Sept. 1, 2000, were erased from the record books, and she was banned from competition for two years.

    Tim Montgomery

    Many other prominent US athletes were implicated in the BALCO scandal. For instance, track and field sprinter Tim Montgomery featured prominently.

    Montgomery specialized in the 100-meter dash, but in 2005 was stripped of his records — including a now-void men's 100-meter dash world record of 9.78 seconds, set in 200 — after being found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs.

    Montgomery subsequently testified to the US Anti-Doping Agency he and other renowned American athletes — such as baseball star Barry Bonds — obtained steroids and human growth hormone from BALCO.

    Montgomery was suspended for four years, and all his results and awards since March 31 2001 were revoked, prompting his retirement.

    Later, he would admit to taking testosterone and human growth hormone prior to the Sydney Games 4 x 100 metres relay, in which he helped claim gold.

    Tyson Gay

    American sprinter Tyson Gay was part of the four-strong silver-medal-winning 100-meter relay team at the London 2012 Olympics. However, less than a year later, Gay failed three drug tests in quick succession — his performance in the UK capital was stricken from the record, he dropped out of competition and returned his medal.

    He was suspended for a year — and in 2015, the International Olympic Committee also stripped Gay's teammates of their medals.

    Oregon Project

    In 2015, former Olympian Kara Goucher — who competed in Beijing in 2008 and London four years later — and Olympic team coach Steve Magness, blew the whistle on widespread cheating at the Oregon Project, the Nike program training US Olympic runners. Alberto Salazar, the famed runner and Oregon Project's top coach, was revealed to be prescribing athletes unnecessary medicines, various performance-enhancing substances nd exceeding mandated limits on IV injections and other treatments.

    Kelli White

    Kelli White won two gold medals in the 2003 World Championships in Paris. The next year, she was stripped of her medals after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs such as tetrahydrogestrinone and erythropoietin, in addition to modafinil.

    She subsequently admitted guilt and testified before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, leading to all her performances since December 15 2000 being annulled and a two-year ban. Reputation shattered, she retired from professional competition in 2006.

    Crystal Cox

    Crystal Cox won a gold medal in the women's 4x400 meter relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She was stripped of the medal in 2012 after she admitted to using anabolic steroids from 2001 to 2004, and forfeited all of her accolades during that time period, receiving a four-year suspension that ended in January 2014.

    Cox resurfaced in 2008 as one of the contestants on TV show Survivor: Gabon. However, despite her Olympic pedigree, she lost 12 of the 14 challenges, and was quickly voted out of the competition.

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    Tags:
    performance enhancing drugs, doping tests, doping scandal, Olympic games, doping, World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA), International Olympic Committee (IOC), United States
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