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Brief history of drugs in sport

  • 400BC - Greeks known to eat extract of certain plants and mushrooms in order to improve performance
  • Roman Period - Gladiators were drugged in order for them to fight more effectively
  • 1886 - Pro cyclist Linton died from a reported overdose of strychnine amphetamine
  • 1904 - Olympic marathon runner Thomas Hicks almost dies from strychnine
  • 1930's - Amphetamines were first produced
  • 1950's - Soviet Union athletes' used male hormones to improve strength and power
  • 1952 - Speed skaters taken ill at the Winter Olympics due to amphetamine usage
  • 1960 - Danish cyclist Kurt Jensen collapsed and died from an amphetamine overdose
  • 1967 - Tommy Simpson died during Tour De France again due to amphetamine usage
  • 1968 - I.O.C. produce the first list of banned substances
  • 1976 - First steroid tests introduced at the Olympic Games
  • 1983 - Sports Council call for the expansion of random drug testing in the UK
  • 1984 - Olympic 1000m champion Finn Vaataninen was proved to have used blood doping
  • 1988 - Ben Johnson was tested positive and stripped of his 100m gold medal and world record after testing positive for anabolic steroids
  • 1996 - Olympic Gold medallist Michelle Smith (De Bruin) tested positive for anabolic steroids
  • 1999/2000 - A number of athletes' particularly British test positive for the banned substance nandrolone
  • 2003 - British sprinter Dwain Chambers banned from athletics for being found guilty of using nandrolone.
  • 2004 - Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou pulled out of the 2004 Athens Olympics after missing a drugs test and then being involved in a bike crash. Many feel that the crash was covering up a drugs scandal involving the pair