8 Failed Drugs Tests That Shocked The Sporting World

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Sport doesn’t come without controversy, and there have been a number of examples down the years that have shocked the world. The biggest shocks have tended to come when respected athletes have failed drugs tests, but what are the biggest examples that the world has failed to digest?

Here are the 8 biggest shocks in the sporting world from respected athletes that failed drugs tests while they were professionally competing:

  1. Lance Armstrong
  2. Maria Sharapova
  3. Justin Gatlin
  4. Marion Jones
  5. Jon Jones
  6. Alex Rodriguez
  7. Diego Maradone
  8. Jarrell Miller

  1. Lance Armstrong

When the news broke that Lance Armstrong had been involved in one of the biggest doping scandals of all time, the news was met with a mixture of sadness and anger. Armstrong had dedicated his life to cycling and was one of the biggest success stories due to his comeback to the sport following testicular cancer. However, his legacy is now non-existent after the findings in the 2012 investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The report found that Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. He was immediately stripped of all seven Tour de France wins before he later confirmed that the report was correct during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

  1. Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova was one of the most instantly recognisable players on the women’s circuit. She was widely respected by all other players and fans, as she won all four of the Grand Slams. She won the Wimbledon title in 2004, before adding maiden successes in the US Open, Australian Open and French Open over the next eight years. However, her reputation was left in tatters in 2016 after she failed a drugs test during the Australian Open. She tested positive for Meldonium. The substance had only been made illegal in tennis just a month beforehand, and she still states that she used the drug for health reasons rather than for performance reasons.

  1. Justin Gatlin

One of the most contentious sports stars on the planet is Justin Gatlin. The US sprinter failed two drugs tests during his career before he was allowed back into the sport. Upon his return, he was booed by the fans in attendance at the 2012 London Olympics, before he went on to win the 100m gold at the 2017 World Championships. Usain Bolt later condemned the fans that booed him at that event in London claiming that he had worked hard to get back to the top of the sport. Regardless, there are always arguments claiming that the bans that he received were not strong enough.

  1. Marion Jones

Back in the 90s, one woman stood out more than most on the global stage, and that was Marion Jones. She was the dominant force on the track and led the US to multiple gold medals. Her performances led to her being regarded as one of the USA’s best-ever Olympic athletes. She won three gold medals and two bronze medals at the 2000 Olympics, but her world came tumbling down in 2006 when she tested positive for a banned substance. Jones was stripped of all her honours and banned from the sport for life.

  1. Jon Jones
Jon Jones | UFC

Jon Jones is constantly spoken about as one of the greatest UFC fighters of all-time. However, he hasn’t been as squeaky clean as Holly Holm, who has passed 50 tests during her career. Jones’ history regarding failed drugs tests is often what people point to when they aren’t happy that he is the greatest of all-time. He was banned for a year after beating Daniel Cormier, before returning and then failing another drugs test.

  1. Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod was one of the most famous players in the world of baseball, but he also had one of the most famous failed drugs tests of all-time. He admitted to taking drugs between 2001 and 2003 during his time with the Rangers. MLB reacted to this news by handing him a 211 game suspension. However, he appealed the sentence and was able to play during the appeal process. After the appeal, it was revealed that he would be suspended for 162 games, which meant he missed the remainder of the 2014 season.

  1. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona is remembered as one of the greatest footballers of all-time, but he was also no stranger to controversy. The most notable achievement during his career came in the 1986 World Cup, as he guided his country to success. However, the World Cup eight years later would see Maradona leaving under a cloud of smoke. He was forced to leave the competition after testing positive for Ephedrine. He was sent home and subsequently suspended.

  1. Jarrell Miller

The stage was set for one of the biggest heavyweight showdowns in 2019 as Anthony Joshua was going to take on Jarrell Miller in New York. However, Miller was pulled from the fight after failing a drugs test. He lost his license after testing positive for a metabolic modulator. He was subsequently replaced by Andy Ruiz Jr, who shocked the world in beating Joshua.


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