Athletes Involved in Drug Scandals
For some athletes, the risk of losing—or even being less than the best—is worse than the many consequences of doping in professional sports, and for decades, performance-enhancing drug controversies have made headlines around the world. Other athletes have garnered media attention, criminal charges and sporting suspensions for their recreational drug use. Biography.com examines some of the world's greatest athletes to ever fall from fame, whose names have been tarnished by drugs scandals, including Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Marion Jones, Andre Agassi, Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong.
Cyclist, Philanthropist / 1971 -
For nearly a decade, famed cyclist Lance Armstrong was under intense speculation that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven consecutive times (1999 to 2005), and in 2012, the USADA announced that Armstrong would be stripped of his Tour titles—as well as other honors he received from 1999 to 2005—and banned from cycling for life. In January 2013, Armstrong admitted to taking illegal, performance-enhancing drugs during his career.
Baseball Player / 1962 -
In 2007, famed baseball player Roger Clemens fell under intense speculation when he was accused of using steroids in a report by former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell. Clemens vehemently denied the charges, and in 2008, went before Congress and refuted any use of performance-enhancement drugs. He then received additional charges of providing false testimony before Congress. However, in April 2012, Clemens was acquitted of all charges that he lied about his innocence, regarding his drug charges.
Track and Field Athlete / 1959 - 1998
Following her 1988 Olympic run, Florence Joyner, a triple gold-medalist, came under media speculation when another athlete suggested that Joyner was using performance-enhancing drugs. Joyner insisted that she never used performance enhancers, however, and she never failed a drug test.
Baseball Player / 1964 -
Barry Bonds's famous baseball career became marred by accusations of steroid use in the early 2000s. Then, Bonds's 2003 testimony spurred more charges—allegations that he had been lying before the grand jury in 2003. In 2011, Bonds was convicted of obstructing justice (for impeding a grand jury investigation).
Baseball Player / 1964 -
Jose Canseco name has become virtually synonymous with Major League Baseball's "steroids era." Canseco's 2005 book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'roids and Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big, details his use of performance-enhancing drugs, as well as the drug use of several other professional baseball players. The allegations contained in Juiced helped spark the 2007 Mitchell Report, the culmination of a 21-month investigation into steroid usage in Major League Baseball led by Senator George Mitchell. The investigation revealed that baseball's long-ball era—a period of the late 1990s and early 2000s—had been, as Canseco suggested, fueled largely by rampant steroid use.
Professional Swimmer / 1985 -
When a photo showing Michael Phelps smoking a marijuana pipe surfaced in 2009, the famous Olympic swimmer came under intense speculation by media outlets and USA Swimming. Soon after the photo's release, phelps was suspended from competition for three months. Phelps later admitted that his public smoke session was a "bad judgment" call.
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profile name: Lance Armstrong profile occupation: Cyclist, Philanthropist
profile id: 9542053
profile name: Florence Joyner profile occupation: Track and Field Athlete
profile id: 9542459
profile name: Barry Bonds profile occupation: Baseball Player
profile id: 272751
profile name: Roger Clemens profile occupation: Baseball Player
profile id: 17180940
profile name: Jose Canseco profile occupation: Baseball Player
profile id: 345192
profile name: Michael Phelps profile occupation: Professional Swimmer
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