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Historical Timeline

History of Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports

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776 BC - 1959

776 BC - 393 BC - Ancient Greeks Use Performance Enhancing Drugs

"The use of drugs to enhance performance in sports has certainly occurred since the time of the original Olympic Games [from 776 to 393 BC]. The origin of the word 'doping' is attributed to the Dutch word 'doop,' which is a viscous opium juice, the drug of choice of the ancient Greeks."

"The ancient Olympic champions were professionals who competed for huge cash prizes as well as olive wreaths... Most forms of what we would call cheating were perfectly acceptable to them, save for game-fixing. There is evidence that they gorged themselves on meat -- not a normal dietary staple of the Greeks -- and experimented with herbal medications in an effort to enhance their performances...The ancient Greek athletes also drank wine potions, used hallucinogens and ate animal hearts or testicles in search of potency."

Larry D. Bowers, "Athletic Drug Testing," Clinics in Sports Medicine, Apr. 1, 1998

"Winning, Cheating Have Ancient Roots," Washington Post, Aug. 3, 2007

100 AD - Roman Gladiators Use Stimulants and Hallucinogens to Prevent Fatigue and Injury

Gladiator competitions and chariot races are popular in Ancient Roman culture, and the Coliseum is expanded to hold 60,000 spectators in 100 AD. Chariot racers feed their horses substances such as hydromel (an alcoholic beverage made from honey) to make them run faster and gladiators ingest hallucinogens and stimulants such as strychnine to stave off fatigue and injury and to improve the intensity of their fights.

"History of Doping," Presented at the WADA Asia Education Symposium, Aug. 29, 2006

Late 19th Century - French Cyclists and Lacrosse Players Drink Wine and Coca Leaves to Fight Fatigue and Hunger

"The modern applications [of drug use in sports] began in the late nineteenth century, with preparations made from the coca leaf -- the source of cocaine and related alkaloids. Vin Mariani, a widely used mixture of coca leaf extract and wine, was even called 'the wine for athletes.' It was used by French cyclists and... by a champion lacrosse team. Coca and cocaine were popular because they staved off the sense of fatigue and hunger brought on by prolonged exertion."

"The Coercive Power of Drugs in Sports," The Hastings Center Report, Aug. 1983

1904-1920 - Performance Enhancing Drugs Used in the Modern Olympic Games

"In 1904 Olympics marathon runner, Thomas Hicks, was using a mixture of brandy and strychnine [a stimulant that is fatal in high doses] and nearly died. Mixtures of strychnine, heroin, cocaine, and caffeine were used widely by athletes and each coach or team developed its own unique secret formulae. This was common practice until heroin and cocaine became available only by prescription in the 1920s."

Performance-Enhancing Medications and Drugs of Abuse, 1992

1928 - First Rule Against Doping in Sports

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), the governing body for the sport of track and field, become the first international sporting federation to prohibit doping by athletes.

"Drugs in Sport/Doping Control," IAAF Medical Manual, (accessed May 13, 2009)

1940-1945 - Nazis Test Steroids on Prisoners and Hitler

"According to anecdotal accounts, the Nazis test anabolic steroids on prisoners, Gestapos and Hitler himself [between 1940 and 1945]. Testosterone and its analogs are used by German soldiers to promote aggressiveness and physical strength. Retrospectively, according to his physician, Hitler's mental state toward the end of his life exhibits characteristics that some scientists associate with heavy steroid use: mania, acute paranoid psychoses, overly aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal ideologies."

"How We Got Here: A Timeline of Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports,", Mar. 11, 2008

1940-1945 - Soldiers Use Amphetamines during WWII

The American, British, German, and Japanese armed forces distribute amphetamines to their soldiers to counteract fatigue, elevate mood, and heighten endurance. The amphetamines are used as a substitute for cocaine because they can be taken orally in tablet form, and the effect lasts much longer.

The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs, 1972

1950s - Athletes Begin Taking Amphetamines Used by Soldiers in WWII

"The first 'effective' performance enhancing drugs, the amphetamines, which were used widely by soldiers in the Second World War, crossed over into sports in the early 1950s. These drugs -- nicknamed la bomba by Italian cyclists and atoom by Dutch cyclists -- minimize the uncomfortable sensations of fatigue during exercise."

"Tainted Glory - Doping and Athletic Performance," New England Journal of Medicine, Aug. 26, 2004

1958 - FDA Approves First Anabolic Steroid for Sale in US

The "Godfather of Steroids," Dr. John Bosley Zieglar, creates an anabolic steroid called Dianabol that is released by Ciba Pharmaceuticals with FDA approval. Dr. Zieglar noted the success of the Russian weightlifting team due to the use of testosterone in 1954 and began experimenting on US weightlifters. His creation synthesizes the strength-building properties of testosterone while minimizing the negative health effects.

Close to his death in 1983, Dr. Zieglar speaks out against his invention and says he wishes he had never created the anabolic steroid after seeing athletes abuse the drug.

"The Man Behind the Juice,", Feb. 18, 2005


Aug. 26, 1960 - First Athlete to Die in Olympic Competition Due to Doping

Danish cyclist, Knud Jensen, dies on Aug. 26, 1960 at the Summer Olympics in Rome during the 100km team time trial race. His collapse, which fractured his skull, is initially thought to be caused by the high temperatures that day. His autopsy, however, reveals traces of an amphetamine called Ronicol. Jensen is the second athlete ever to die during Olympic competition (the first was a marathon runner in 1912 who died from heat exhaustion).

"Cycling: Inside This Sport: History," (accessed May 13, 2009)

July 13, 1967 - Cyclist on Amphetamines Is First Tour de France Doping Death

British cyclist Tommy Simpson, named Sports Personality of the Year by the BBC in 1965, dies during the 13th stage of the Tour de France on July 13, 1967. The cyclist, whose motto was allegedly "if it takes ten to kill you, take nine and win," consumes excess amounts of amphetamines and brandy to combat the effects of an illness and he continues to ride until his body shuts down.

Simpson's death creates pressure for sporting agencies to take action against doping.

"Gene Doping - Sport's Next Big Challenge,", June 12, 2008

1967 - International Olympic Commitee (IOC) Establishes Medical Commission to Fight Doping

Partly in reaction to Tommy Simpson's death, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) establishes the Medical Commission to fight against doping in sports. The Commission is given three guiding principles: protection of the health of athletes, respect for medical and sport ethics, and equality for all competing athletes.

"The Medical Commission," (accessed June 3, 2009

Feb. 1968 - First Drug Testing at Olympic Games

"The IOC instituted its first compulsory doping controls at the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France in 1968 and again at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City in the same year. At that time the list of banned substances issued in 1967 included narcotic analgesics and stimulants, which comprised sympathomimetic amines, psychomotor stimulants and miscellaneous central nervous system stimulants [including alcohol]. Although it was suspected that androgenic anabolic steroids were being used at this time, testing methods were insufficiently developed to warrant the inclusion of anabolic steroids in the list of banned substances."

David R. Mottram and Michele Verroken, "Doping Control in Sport," Doping in Sports, 2005

May 4, 1968 - First Horse Disqualified from Kentucky Derby for Banned Substance

Dancer's Image became the only winner in the Kentucky Derby's 134-year history to be disqualified for using a banned substance when traces of phenylbutazone, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), were found in his urine sample after the race. Phenylbutazone was made legal at the Kentucky Derby by a judge's ruling in 1971.

"Drug Scandal Robbed Dancer's Image of 1968 Kentucky Derby Title,", May 3, 2008

Oct. 1968 - First Olympic Athlete Disqualified for Doping Violation

Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a member of the Swedish modern pentathlon team, was stripped of his bronze medal at the Mexico City Olympics when he tested positive for excessive alcohol. Liljenwall said he had two beers to calm his nerves during the pistol shooting part of the pentathlon. He became the first athlete ever disqualified from the Olympic Games for doping, and the whole Swedish team was forced to return their medals as well. At the same Olympics, 14 other athletes tested positive for tranquilizers which were not banned at the time.

"Mexico 1968," (accessed June 9, 2009)

1972 - First Full-Scale Drug Testing of Olympic Athletes for Narcotics and Stimulants

"When [drug] testing took place at the Games of 1968 it was of a limited nature... The IOC itself was clear about the limits of its responsibility on doping control...

The first full-scale testing of Olympic athletes occurred at the 1972 Summer Olympic in Munich, Germany... [T]ests were limited to narcotic analgesics and to the three classes of stimulants; however, testing was much more comprehensive with 2079 samples being analyzed. Seven athletes were disqualified."

David R. Mottram and Michele Verroken, "Doping Control in Sport," Doping in Sports, 2005

1975 - Anabolic Steroids Added to IOC's Banned Substances List

Anabolic steroids are added to the IOC's list of banned substances because a test that is considered to be reliable is developed.

David R. Mottram and Michele Verroken, "Doping Control in Sport," Doping in Sports, 2005

1976 - Steroid Testing Conducted for the First Time at the Montreal Olympics

Athletes are first tested for anabolic steroids during the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

"Timeline: A Century of Drugs and the Athlete,", Mar. 1, 2007

1983 - Surprise Drug Testing at Pan Am Games Leads Many Athletes to Withdraw from Competition

"The modern age of drug testing essentially started at the 1983 Pan Am Games in Caracas, Venezuela. A team of scientists... developed a new method for steroid testing in anticipation of two large international sporting events that year, the Pan Games and world track and field championships...

The Pan Am drug testing caught a lot of athletes by surprise... a dozen American athletes in various events suddenly withdrew from the competition and returned to the U.S., and at least another dozen athletes from other countries also left without explanation.

Nineteen athletes in total failed drug tests at the 1983 Pan Ams."

"10 Drug Scandals," CBC Sports Online, Jan. 19, 2003

Sep. 27, 1988 - Ben Johnson Stripped of Gold Medal after Positive Drug Test

Ben Johnson, a Canadian sprinter, is stripped of his gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea after testing positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. Johnson claims that his herbal drink was spiked, but officials decline his explanation and suspend him from competition for two years. International Olympic Committee officials send the Canadian home from the competition in disgrace. Johnson is later banned for life after a second positive test in 1993.

"On This Day," (accessed June 9, 2009)

Nov. 18, 1988 - President Reagan Signs Act Outlawing Non-Medical Steroid Sales

As part of his War on Drugs program, President Ronald Reagan signs the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, outlawing the sale of steroids for non-medical purposes. The law adds penalties for crimes involving minors and the sale of drugs within one hundred feet of schools, to address concerns about high school students using steroids.

Shaun Assael and Peter Keating, "Who Knew?," ESPN the Magazine, Nov. 2005


Oct. 5, 1990 - Congress Passes Anabolic Steroids Control Act

"Congress toughens its stance with the Anabolic Steroids Control Act, which places steroids in the same legal class [Schedule III] as amphetamines, methamphetamines, opium and morphine."

"The Memos: A Ban Ignored," ESPN the Magazine, Nov. 2005

June 7, 1991 - Major League Baseball Bans Steroids

Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent sends a seven page memo to all of the major league teams on June 7, 1991 that states: "The possession, sale or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by Major League players or personnel is strictly prohibited... This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs and controlled substances, including steroids." In the absence of any testing, enforcement, or publicity of the rule, many players and team management later claim to have been unaware of Vincent's policy (according to interviews conducted by ESPN writer Tom Farrey in 2002). Vincent later says he sent the memo because of rumors about Jose Canseco and admits, "We could have done a lot more lecturing, lobbying, and educating. But I didn't know anything about steroids."

"The Memos: A Ban Ignored," ESPN the Magazine, Nov. 2005

Dec. 2, 1991 - Former East German Swimming Coaches Admit to Two Decades of Doping

"The stunning domination of international swimming by East German women for nearly two decades was built upon an organized system of anabolic-steroid use, a group of 20 former East German coaches confirmed [on Dec. 2, 1991]. Their admission... is the latest evidence -- and some of the most convincing -- that senior sports administrators of the now-dissolved Communist state made performance-enhancing drugs a critical part of the training programs for the country's elite athletes... [T]hese latest admissions confirmed for years what rival coaches and athletes had always suspected, even though no East German swimmer was ever caught or penalized for drug use. The International Olympic Committee and other major international sports federations do not punish athletes retroactively without an admission by the athlete. As a result the athletes involved are in no danger of losing their medals or records."

"Coaches Concede That Steroids Fueled East Germany's Success in Swimming," New York Times, Dec. 3, 1991

May 14, 1992 - Former NFL Player Dies of Brain Cancer after Using Steroids and HGH for Two Decades

"NFL defensive end Lyle Alzado dies of brain cancer on May 14. The 43-year-old two-time All-Pro believed his disease was the result of more than two decades of steroid and HGH use (which, at its peak, cost him as much as $30,000 a year). Scientific research has yet to demonstrate a link between steroids or HGH and brain cancer."

Sports Illustrated "How We Got Here: A Timeline of Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports,", Mar. 11, 2

Sep.-Oct. 1994 - Chinese Swimmers Fail Drug Tests Three Times More Than Any Other Nation

China wins 12 of 16 gold medals at the Sep. 1994 FINA World Championships in Rome, casting suspicion on that nation's swimmers, who suddenly began winning medals in the early 1990s. The Chinese women dominate in swimming at the Oct. 1994 Asian Games, but suspicions of doping are confirmed as eleven Chinese athletes test positive for steroids after the competition and are stripped of 22 medals. The suspension of many Chinese swimmers results in only one gold medal won by the national team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. More than 40 Chinese swimmers fail drug tests between 1990 and 2000, triple the amount of any other nation's swim team in that same time period.

"10 Drug Scandals," CBC Sports Online, Jan. 19, 2003

Dec. 15, 1994 - First British Female to Test Positive for PEDs Receives Four Year Ban

Commonwealth Games champion runner, Diane Modahl, becomes the first British female athlete to test positive for performance enhancing drugs. She is banned from competition for four years in a ruling by the British Athletic Foundation (BAF) on Dec. 15, 1994. Modahl claims that the Lisbon laboratory stored her urine sample improperly. One year later, she is cleared of the charges because of the possibility that the sample was not refrigerated. However, she is cleared to return to competition until Mar. 1996. The case gains international attention because of the ruling that her samples were handled incorrectly, and because Modahl launches an unsuccessful five-year campaign for a one million pound compensation from the BAF.

"On This Day," (accessed May 29, 2009)

May 15, 1997 - Bud Selig Issues Memo Repeating the MLB Ban on Steroids

"On May 15, 1997, acting commissioner Bud Selig distributed a nearly identical version of the [1991 Fay Vincent] drug memo, again citing steroids and directing clubs to post the policy in clubhouses and distribute copies to players. Selig's memo also went largely ignored...

[In 2005,] ESPN spoke to five GMs [General Managers] from 1997, three of whom (from the Royals, Dodgers and Rockies) couldn't recall that a steroids policy even existed."

"The Memos: A Ban Ignored," ESPN the Magazine, Nov. 2005

1998 - Irish Swimmer Suspended for Pouring Whiskey into Urine Sample to Mask Doping

In 1998, drug testers show up at the home of Irish swimmer Michelle Smith and her husband Erik de Bruin, a former discus thrower serving a four year ban for a failed drug test. Smith won three gold and one bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, the last time any Irish athlete won an Olympic gold medal (as of 2009). The lab in Barcelona discovers that Smith's urine sample contains a lethal level of alcohol. FINA, the international swimming federation, states that Smith's bulky sweater enabled her to hide her actions from the testers as she poured whiskey into the urine sample to mask the presence of performance enhancing drugs. She is suspended from the sport for four years but allowed to keep her Olympic medals.

"10 Drug Scandals," CBC Sports Online, Jan. 19, 2003

1998 - Mark McGwire Admits to Using a Steroid Precursor

"A jar of androstenedione is discovered in the locker of St. Louis slugger Mark McGwire, who is neck and neck with Sammy Sosa in the great chase at Roger Maris' all-time record of 61 homers hit during the 1961 season. McGwire admits he uses the steroids precursor [substance that the body can convert into steroids] and goes on to hit a then record 70 homers. Using steroids, precursors or performance-enhancing drugs is not illegal at that point in Major League Baseball."

"Special Report: Drug Policy in Baseball," (accessed May 26, 2009)

[Editor’s Note: Although MLB Commissioners had issued memos in 1991 and 1997 that banned the use of steroids, the league did not institute random testing and penalties until the 2004 season.]

Feb. 1998 - Snowboarder Who Tests Positive for Marijuana Has Gold Medal Taken then Returned

Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati tests positive for marijuana after winning the gold medal in the giant slalom event at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. The International Olympic Committee strips him of his medal, but he appeals and the medal is returned because the International Ski Federation (FIS) rules do not explicitly ban the use of marijuana in the giant slalom event. The IOC medical code penalizes the use of marijuana only if a sports federation enacts penalities for its use. Rebagliati claims that the traces of marijuana found in his urine are from exposure to secondhand smoke.

"Canadian Gets His Gold Medal Back," New York Times, Feb. 13, 1998

Nov. 10, 1999 - World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Is Established

"The World Conference on Doping in Sport held in Lausanne on 2-4 February 1999 produced the Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport. This document provided for the creation of an independent international anti-doping agency to be fully operational for the Games of the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney in 2000.

Pursuant to the terms of the Lausanne Declaration, the World Anti-Doping Agency was established on 10 November 1999 in Lausanne to promote and coordinate the fight against doping in sport internationally. WADA was set up as a foundation under the initiative of the IOC with the support and participation of intergovernmental organizations, governments, public authorities, and other public and private bodies fighting against doping in sport. The agency consists of equal representatives from the Olympic Movement and public authorities."

"WADA History," (accessed June 10, 2009)


Oct. 1, 2000 - US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Begins Operations

"The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is the independent anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States. USADA was created as the result of recommendations set forth by the United States Olympic Committee's Select Task Force on Externalization. USADA began operations Oct. 1, 2000, with full authority for testing, education, research and adjudication for U.S. Olympic, Pan Am and Paralympic athletes. It is USADA's responsibility to develop a comprehensive national anti-doping program for the Olympic Movement in the United States."

"United States Anti-Doping Agency Fact Sheet,", Mar. 2001

2002 - Anti-Doping Pioneer Identifies First Designer Steroid

Dr. Don Catlin, a pioneer of drug testing in sports, identifies norbolethone, the first reported designer anabolic steroid, in an athlete's urine sample for the first time. The discovery is a breakthrough in drug testing because designer steroids have rarely been detected until this point, allowing some dopers to pass drug tests without being caught.

"Key Anti-Doping and Doping Developments in Sport," (accessed May 6, 2009)

May 28, 2002 - Former Baseball Player Says 50% of MLB Players Use Steroids

Ken Caminiti tells Sports Illustrated in a May 28, 2002 article titled "Caminiti Comes Clean" that he used steroids during his 1996 National League MVP (most valuable player) season with the San Diego Padres. He estimates that half the players in the big leagues were also using steroids and admits that he also used cocaine. His statements increase pressure on MLB to include steroid testing in the labor agreement being negotiated in summer 2002.

Caminiti later dies of a heart attack at age 41 on Oct. 10, 2004. The New York Medical Examiner rules that drugs are a factor in his death.

"Drugs Ruled as Cause of Death for Caminiti,", Nov. 2, 2004

Aug. 30, 2002 - Steroid Testing Included in MLB Labor Agreement

"MLB and the [Player's] union unveil Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program as an addendum to the new Basic Agreement, which is bargained at the 11th hour just as the players are about to go out on strike. The new policy calls for 'Survey Testing' in 2003 to gauge the use of steroids among players on the 40-man rosters of each club. The tests will be anonymous and no one will be punished."

"Special Report: Drug Policy in Baseball," (accessed May 26, 2009)

Apr. 21, 2003 - Wade Exum Report Alleges Cover-Up of Doping by Over 100 American Athletes

Sports Illustrated reports in its Apr. 21, 2003 issue that former US Olympic Committee (USOC) anti-doping chief Wade Exum provided 30,000 pages of documents naming more than 100 US athletes from various sports who tested positive for banned substances between 1988 and 2000 but were cleared by internal appeals processes.

His allegations about cover-ups by the USOC include 19 athletes who won medals at Olympic Games, such as track and field champion Carl Lewis, tennis player Mary Joe Fernandez, and wrestler Dave Schultz. The USOC denies Exum's claims and notes that the US Anti-Doping Agency has been in charge of drug testing since 2000.

"Carl Lewis: Drug Accusations Are 'Dead Issue,'" CBC Sports Online, Apr. 24, 2003

Sep. 3, 2003 - BALCO Is Raided by Federal Investigators

"Federal investigators raid a Burlingame, Calif., laboratory suspected of distributing steroids to professional athletes. Investigators seize financial and medical records from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO. Those documents allegedly include a calendar of San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds' drug regimen and records of Bonds' payments for drugs. Government investigators cite this evidence four years later, when Bonds is indicted."

"Timeline: Key Moments in Baseball's Doping Probe," Dec. 13, 2007

Nov. 7, 2003 - British Sprinter Dwain Chambers Banned from Olympics for Life for Positive THG Test

British sprinter Dwain Chambers becomes the first person to test positive for the steroid THG in an out-of-competition drug test conducted on Aug. 1, 2003. On Nov. 7, 2003, he is suspended from all competition for two years and banned from the Olympics for life.

Chambers and his 2002 World Championships 4x100m relay teammates must return the silver medals they won because Chambers had been taking THG around the time of the relay race. His 100 meter record of 9.87 is annulled and he has to return his prize money from 2003.

"Chambers Banned for Life from Olympics for Positive THG Test," USA Today, Feb. 24, 2004

Nov. 13, 2003 - High Number of Positive Tests Leads MLB to Institute Penalties for Doping

"The league announces that of 1,438 anonymous tests in the 2003 season, between five and seven per cent were positive, triggering the start of random testing with penalties in 2004. A first offence will lead to counseling and a second offence to a 15-day suspension."

"Timeline: Steroids in Baseball," Dec. 13, 2007

Dec. 2003 - 10 Baseball Players, including Barry Bonds, Called to Testify about BALCO

"Ten Major League players, including Barry Bonds of the Giants, and Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield of the Yankees, are called to testify in front of a San Francisco grand jury investigating the machinations of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), owned and operated by Victor Conte. None of the players are charged with using performance-enhancing drugs, although four men, including Conte and Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal trainer and childhood friend, are indicted for tax evasion and selling steroids without prescriptions."

"Timeline: Steroids in Baseball," Dec. 13, 2007

Oct. 22, 2004 - President Bush Signs the Anabolic Steroid Control Act

"President Bush signs into law the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 that the U.S. Congress passed earlier in the month. The bill added hundreds of steroid-based drugs and precursors such as androstenedione to the list of anabolic steroids that are classified as Schedule III controlled substances, which are banned from over-the-counter sales without a prescription. By virtue of MLB's own agreement with the union, all of the drugs banned by Congress are now on baseball's own banned list."

"Timeline: Steroids in Baseball," Dec. 13, 2007

2004 - WADA Takes over Control of the Prohibited List

"The IOC transfers the management of the Prohibited List to WADA."

"Key Anti-Doping and Doping Developments in Sport," (accessed May 6, 2009)

2004 - WADA Removes Caffeine from the List of Banned Substances

Prior to 2004, athletes who tested positive for a level of caffeine greater than 12 micrograms per milliliter (about 8 cups of coffee) were banned from competition.

WADA removes caffeine from the list of banned substances in 2004 because of research showing that caffeine exceeding the amount allowed might actually decrease performance, and to avoid undue punishment for athletes whose bodies metabolize caffeine at different rates.

"Athletes' Caffeine Use Reignites Scientific Debate," ABC Science Online, Aug. 2, 2008

Jan. 13, 2005 - Penalties for Positive Drug Tests Implemented by Major League Baseball

"During a quarterly owners' meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., the owners vote unanimously to accept recently concluded negotiations between MLB and the union strengthening the drug program. The new punitive measures for Major Leaguers are a 10-day suspension for the first positive test, 30 days for the second, 60 days for the third, and one year for the fourth. All without pay. On the first positive, the player's name is released to the public. The program is separated from the Basic Agreement, which expires on Dec. 19, 2006, and is extended until 2008."

"Special Report: Drug Policy in Baseball," (accessed May 26, 2009)

[Editor’s Note: In Nov. 2005, the penalties are increased to a 50 game suspension for the first offense, 100 games for the second, and a lifetime ban for the third positive test.]


Jan. 19, 2006 - First NHL Player to Test Positive for Banned Substance Suspended from International Competition But Not from NHL

Bryan Berard, professional hockey player for the Columbus, Ohio Blue Jackets, is the first National Hockey League (NHL) player to test positive for banned substances in a Nov. 2008 drug test as part of the testing to be considered for the US Olympic hockey team.

On Jan. 19, 2008, the USADA announces that Berard is banned from international competition for two years after testing positive for 19-norandrosterone, an anabolic agent, but since the test was not administered by the NHL, he is not banned from playing in the league.

WADA president Dick Pound criticizes the decision of the NHL not to penalize Berard and states that the NHL anti-doping policy is "very seriously flawed."

"NHL Doping Policy Slammed," CBC Sports Online, Jan. 23, 2006

Feb. 9, 2006 - US Skeleton Racer Banned for Use of Hair Growth Medicine on the Eve of the Winter Olympics

US Olympic skeleton racer Zach Lund is banned from athletic competition for one year on Feb. 9, 2006, the night before the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. On Nov. 10, 2005 Lund tested positive for Finasteride, a substance in his hair growth stimulant. Finasteride was not on the list of banned substances until Jan. 1, 2005, and was removed from the list on Jan. 1, 2009. The one year ban is a reduction from the two years recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency because the Court of Arbitration determined that "Mr. Lund bears no significant fault or negligence."

"Lund Is Handed One-Year Doping Ban,", Feb. 10, 2006

Dec. 29, 2006 - President Bush Signs a Law Banning Gene Doping in Sports

On Dec. 29, 2006, President Bush signs into law HR 6344, the "Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006," which prohibits the use of gene doping and bans from athletic competition anyone who uses genetic modification for performance enhancement. WADA had already banned gene doping in 2003.

HR 6344 "Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006," Dec. 29, 2006

July 23, 2006 - Sep. 20, 2007 - Floyd Landis Wins the Tour de France But Loses Title When He Tests Positive for Elevated Testosterone Levels

July 23, 2006: Floyd Landis wins the Tour de France when he mounts a comeback late in the race, after having trailed the leader by more than eight minutes.

July 27, 2006: Landis' team, Phonak, announces that his A sample has tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. Landis denies any wrongdoing.

Aug. 5, 2006: Landis' B sample also tests positive, and he is fired by Phonak. Landis mounts a legal defense that will eventually cost him more than $2 million.

Sep. 20, 2007: An arbitration panel votes 2-1 against Landis, resulting in a two-year suspension. Landis is officially stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title, the first winner in the 103-year history of the race to lose the title for a doping offense.

[In a May 19, 2010 interview with ESPN, Landis will admit to having doped for most of his career, although he claims not to have been using testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France.]

"Floyd Landis Timeline,", Sep. 20, 2007

Jan. 24, 2007 - NFL Announces Stricter Anti-Doping Policies

"The National Football League and NFL Players Association have reached agreement on a series of improvements to their policy and program on anabolic steroids and related substances, it was announced today.

The modifications include a 40 percent increase in the number of players randomly tested each week during the preseason, regular season and post-season from seven to 10 per team. Last year, the number of random off-season tests was increased from a maximum of two per player to six per player. These changes bring the total number of steroid tests conducted annually by the NFL to 12,000.

Other changes in the program [include]... the addition of erythropoietin (EPO) to the banned substance list. Testing for EPO will begin with the 2007 annual test that is administered in the spring or summer."

A $500,000 grant is promised to the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory to research new testing methods for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

"NFL Announces New Anti-Doping Policy," Steroid Nation blog, Jan. 24, 2007

June 25, 2007 - WWE Wrestler Commits Murder/Suicide after Injecting Steroids

Professional wrestler Chris Benoit kills his wife and seven-year-old son before committing suicide in their home in Fayetteville, Georgia on June 25, 2007. Benoit has ten times the normal level of testosterone, an anabolic steroid, in his body at the time, as well as amounts of Xanax and Hydrocodone. Georgia's chief medical examiner, Dr. Kris Sperry, states that while Benoit appears to have injected steroids shortly before hanging himself, the role of steroids in the murder-suicide is unclear.

"Steroid, Other Drugs Found in Bodies of Wrestler, Wife, Son,", July 17, 2007

Aug. 7, 2007 - Barry Bonds Hits Record 756th Home Run amid Speculation of Steroid Use

Barry Bonds hits his 756th home run at the age of 43 on Aug. 7, 2007, passing Hank Aaron's major-league career record. Referencing talk of his suspected steroid use, Bonds tells reporters, "This record is not tainted at all. At all. Period. You guys can say whatever you want."

Bonds passed drug tests administered by MLB, but his connection to BALCO and evidence that arose in the 2003 BALCO investigation, lead to speculation that Bonds had taken steroids.

"Barry Bonds Steroids Timeline,", Dec. 7, 2007

Sep. 24, 2007 - DEA Announces Largest Steroid Bust in US History

"DEA and federal law enforcement officials... announced the culmination of Operation Raw Deal, an international case targeting the global underground trade of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin growth factor (IGF).

143 federal search warrants were executed on targets nationwide, resulting in 124 arrests and the seizure of 56 steroid labs across the United States. In total, 11.4 million steroid dosage units were seized, as well as 242 kilograms of raw steroid powder of Chinese origin. As part of Operation Raw Deal, $6.5 million was also seized."

US Drug Enforcement Agency "DEA Announces Largest Steroid Enforcement Action in U.S. History," Press Release, Sep. 24, 2007

Oct. 5, 2007 - Track Star Marion Jones Admits to Steroid Use during 2000 Olympics

Marion Jones retires from track and field on Oct. 5, 2007 after apologizing to friends and family in a letter admitting her steroid use prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She admits to using the BALCO designer steroid known as "The Clear."

"Report: Jones Used Steroids for Two Years before 2000 Games,", Oct. 5, 2007

[Editor’s Note: On Dec. 12, 2007, the IOC strips her of the three gold and two bronze medals that she won in 2000. It also wipes her from the Olympic record books. On Jan. 11, 2008 she is sentenced to six months in prison for lying to the court and deceiving federal investigators.]

Nov. 1, 2007 - German Athletes and Their Children Suffer Health Problems 40 Years after Doping

A study of 52 German athletes who were given anabolic steroids during the 1970's and 1980's without their knowledge or consent reveals serious health consequences for those athletes and their children. The research was conducted by Dr. Giselher Spitzer from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

A quarter of the athletes have some form of cancer and one-third report thoughts or attempts of suicide.

The risk of miscarriage and stillbirth for these athletes is 32 times higher than the normal German population. Of the 69 children that survived, seven have physical deformities and four are mentally handicapped. More than a quarter of the children have allergies and 23 percent have asthma.

"Children of Doping Athletes Deformed," Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 1, 2007

Nov. 1, 2007 - Tennis Player Martina Hingis Retires from Tennis after Testing Positive for Cocaine

Martina Hingis, former world number one and five-time Grand Slam champion, announces her retirement from tennis on Nov. 1, 2007 after learning that both the A and B samples of a urine test conducted on June 29, 2007 at Wimbledon are positive for the presence of cocaine. She is banned from competition for two years. The trace amount of cocaine metabolite in her urine is so low that she would have passed a drug test administered by the US military. Hingis claims she has never used cocaine and independently submits to a hair test that is negative for drugs. Hingis, age 27, argues that the urine samples were handled improperly but states that she has no desire to fight the doping officials or to contest the two-year ban.

"Tennis Mailbag," Sports Illustrated website, May 13, 2009

Nov. 15, 2007 - Barry Bonds Indicted by Grand Jury for Lying about Steroid Use

"A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicts Bonds on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. He is accused of lying when he said he didn't knowingly take steroids given to him by [his former trainer Greg] Anderson. He's also is accused of lying that Anderson never injected him with steroids. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Dec. 7. Anderson, who had been imprisoned for refusing to testify against Bonds, was ordered released."

"Barry Bonds Steroids Timeline,", Dec. 7, 2007

[Editor’s Note: The original indictment was released on Nov. 15, 2007, but a federal judge ordered prosecutors to rewrite the indictment on Feb. 29, 2008, delaying the start of the trial. A guilty verdict is eventually reached on Mar. 21, 2011 and overturned on Apr. 22, 2015.]

Dec. 13, 2007 - Former Senator George Mitchell Reports Widespread Use of Steroids in Baseball

Former US Senator George J. Mitchell presents the result of his 20-month investigation in a report titled "Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball," to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig on Dec. 13, 2007. The 311-page (not including appendices) report alleges a widespread use of illegal anabolic steroids by professional baseball players for more than a decade, and names 89 players as doping offenders, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, and Miguel Tejada.

Mitchell is hired by MLB to lead the investigation alleged steroid use by players. The resulting document, known as "The Mitchell Report," outlines recommendations to improve testing for performance enhancing drugs in the MLB. Congress immediately responds to the report by calling Mitchell, Selig, and Donald Fehr, head of the players' union, to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

"Mitchell Report Proposes Solutions,", Dec. 13, 2007

Jan. 11, 2008 - Track Star Marion Jones Sentenced to Six Months in Prison

Olympic gold medalist and track and field champion Marion Jones is sentenced to six months in prison on Jan. 11, 2008 for lying to a court and deceiving federal investigators. The prison sentence comes after Jones was already stripped of her Olympic medals by the International Olympic Committee.

"Sentenced to Jail: Marion Jones Will Not Be Coming Out of the (Cell) Blocks for 6 Months," Steroid Nation blog, Jan. 11, 2008

Jan. 26, 2008 - All Russian Rowing Officials Banned from Competition for One Year

The International Rowing Federation, FISA, bans all officials of the Russian Rowing Federation from participating in any FISA activities for one year in the wake of nine doping offenses by the Russian rowing team within 12 months. The athletes involved receive two-year bans from competition.

FISA Executive Committee Doping Hearing Panel Ruling, Jan. 26, 2008

Feb. 12, 2008 - World Series Winning Pitcher Roger Clemens Denies Allegations That He Took HGH and Testosterone

"[Two-time World Series-winning Major League Baseball pitcher Roger] Clemens and his former personal trainer Brian McNamee testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. McNamee says he injected HGH and testosterone into Clemens on numerous occasions and Clemens denies it. The Justice Department begins an investigation into whether the seven-time Cy Young Award winner lied under oath."

"How We Got Here: A Timeline of Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports,", Mar. 11, 2008

Apr. 10, 2008 - IOC Rules Teammates of Marion Jones Must Return Olympic Medals

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules on Apr. 10, 2008 that since Marion Jones admitted to using performance enhancing drugs during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, her eight teammates must also return the medals they won with Jones in the relay races. Seven of the women file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"Jones's Running Mates Told to Return Medals," Washington Post, Apr. 11, 2008

[Editor’s Note: Chryste Gaines, MBA, Olympic gold and bronze medal sprinter and former teammate of Marion Jones in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, stated the following in a Dec. 22, 2008 email to in response to the IOC ruling:

“We are being unfairly punished. If the drug testing agencies cannot determine if an athlete is taking performance enhancing drugs how are the teammates supposed to know?… It negates all the family functions, church functions, and social events we missed in the name of winning an Olympic medal.”]

July 31, 2008 - Seven Russians Caught Doping Prior to Beijing Olympics

"A sting operation conducted over the past 16 months result[s]... in the doping suspension of seven female Russian track and field athletes, five of them Olympians, bringing international embarrassment and dealing a potentially severe blow to the country's medal chances in middle-distance running and field events at the Beijing Games.

The women were suspended by track's world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, which investigated suspicious Russian tests for more than a year and accused the seven athletes of illicitly substituting someone else's urine for their own in an attempt to subvert antidoping controls."

"Russian Athletes Are Suspended for Doping," New York Times, Aug. 1, 2008

Sep. 5, 2008 - Steroids Banned at the Kentucky Derby

"[Kentucky] Governor Steve Beshear today signed emergency regulations banning anabolic steroids from thoroughbred and standardbred racing in Kentucky. The changes in state law took effect immediately as emergency regulations... Under the new law, anabolic steroids may not be present in a horse that is racing. The new rules set forth acceptable levels of the naturally occurring steroids Boldenone, Nandrolone and Testosterone. A horse may be given one of those steroids only under certain therapeutic conditions, and a horse may not race for at least 60 days afterwards."


"Governor Signs Steroids Ban into Law," Press release, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission website, Sep. 5, 2008

Anabolic Steroid Regulation, Sep. 5, 2008

Oct. 16, 2008 - First Doping Suspensions in History of Major League Soccer

"Major League Soccer has handed out its first suspensions for using performance-enhancing drugs, nine years after the league began testing. New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway and defender Jeff Parke each received a 10-game ban on Thursday after testing positive for androstatriendione and boldenone metabolites.

The drugs got into the players' systems after they purchased and used an over-the-counter nutritional supplement from a vitamin store that is part of a national chain, the league said. Conway and Parke were each fined 10 per cent of their salary - Conway makes $115,000 US this season, while Parke has a base salary of $57,488."

"MLS Dishes out First Drug Suspensions," CBC Sports Online, Oct. 16, 2008

Dec. 2, 2008 - Six NFL Players Suspended for Taking Steroid Masking Agent

Eight National Football League (NFL) players are investigated for violating league drug policy by taking a diuretic called bumetanide. The players, including the New Orleans Saints' Deuce McAllister, claim the drug was in a pill they took to lose weight. Bumetanide is banned because it is considered to be a masking agent for steroids. The NFL's drug policy states that a player can be suspended for four games the first time he tests positive for banned substances.

On Dec. 2, 2008, the NFL suspends six players for four games each, but the players continue to protest the suspension and assert their innocence.

"NFL Suspends Six Players for Four Games Each,", Dec. 2, 2008

Dec. 8, 2008 - NASCAR Announces Stricter Anti-Doping Policy

"NASCAR will test drivers for performance-enhancing drugs... under a tougher policy that also bans using illegal drugs and abusing prescription medications... A NASCAR memo sent to teams lists specific banned substances for which crew members must be screened. No similar guidelines were issued for drivers, as NASCAR reserves the right to test competitors for anything. Under the old policy, NASCAR had the right to randomly test based on suspicion of abuse.

Under the tougher guidelines... everyone will be tested before the season begins, and random testing will continue throughout the year. NASCAR expects to randomly test 12 to 14 individuals per series each weekend in 2009. The memo, dated Dec. 8, is the first time the new policy has been laid out in writing and specifies who falls under the guidelines."

"NASCAR to Test Drivers Next Month,", Dec. 18, 2008

Jan. 31, 2009 - US Swimmer Michael Phelps Caught Smoking Marijuana and Suspended for Three Months

A British tabloid publishes a photo of Michael Phelps, age 23, smoking marijuana at a party in South Carolina. Phelps, an American swimmer with 14 Olympic gold medals, is suspended from competition for 3 months by USA Swimming.

"Michael Phelps Happy with Decision to Keep Swimming," Washington Post, May 8, 2009

Feb. 7, 2009 - NY Yankees' Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez Reportedly Tested Positive for Steroids in 2003

On Feb. 7, 2009, Sports Illustrated breaks the story that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids in the 2003 drug testing conducted by Major League Baseball to determine if drug testing and penalties should be implemented in the sport. The results of the tests were supposed to be anonymous and players who tested positive were not to be penalized, but the federal government obtained the results during the BALCO investigation. 104 players tested positive but only Rodriguez's name is leaked.

On Feb. 9, 2009, Rodriguez admits in an interview with ESPN that he took "banned substances" during the 2001-2003 seasons. Rodriguez tested positive for testosterone and Primobolan, an anabolic steroid.

"Rodriguez Admits to Using Steroids," Sports Illustrated, Feb. 9, 2009

Mar. 24, 2009 - Soccer Federations Reject WADA's Stricter Drug Testing Policies

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) release a statement on Mar. 24, 2009 announcing that they formally reject WADA's new "whereabouts" rule requiring athletes to tell WADA where they will be for one hour every day.

They also state that they do not accept out-of-competition drug testing for players on vacation because it is an invasion of privacy.

WADA responds by criticizing FIFA and UEFA for their stance, and threatens that soccer may be removed from the Olympic games if the organizations do not comply with drug testing rules.

"FIFA and UEFA Reject WADA 'Whereabouts' Rule,", Mar. 24, 2009

Mar. 28, 2009 - Aug. 6, 2009 - French Tennis Player Blames Positive Cocaine Test on a Girl He Kissed at a Night Club

On Mar. 28, 2009, French tennis player Richard Gasquet submits a urine sample after withdrawing with an injury from a tournament in Miami, Florida. When both his A and B samples test positive for cocaine on May 11, 2009, Gasquet is charged with a doping offense and banned from competition.

An independent Anti-Doping Tribunal appointed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) holds a hearing on June 29-30, 2009, during which Gasquet asserts his innocence by claiming that the cocaine entered his system when he kissed a girl who had ingested it at a night club.

The tribunal's ruling states that since the amount of cocaine found in Gasquet's system was "about the size of a grain of salt," he is cleared to return to competition. On Aug. 6, 2009, the ITF announces that it is appealing the tribunal's decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"ITF Appeals Gasquet Reinstatement in Coke Case," Fox Sports website, Aug. 10, 2009

Apr. 17, 2009 - US Cyclist Tyler Hamilton Announces His Retirement After Testing Positive for Steroid DHEA

American cyclist Tyler Hamilton, age 38, announces his retirement from professional cycling on Apr. 17, 2009 after testing positive for a steroid called DHEA. Hamilton admitted he was aware that DHEA was in an herbal medicine he took to combat depression. On June 16, 2009, he receives an eight-year ban that the CEO of USADA, Travis Tygart, classifies as "an assurance that he is penalized for what would have been the remainder of his competitive cycling career." Hamilton was accused of using blood transfusions, human growth hormones, testosterone, EPO, and insulin after failing drug tests earlier in his career. During the 2000 Athens Olympics, where Hamilton won a gold medal, his A sample showed signs of blood doping. The B sample was mistakenly frozen so that it could not be tested, so Hamilton was allowed to keep his gold medal. He tested positive again one month after the Olympics and was banned for two years.

"Hamilton Receives Eight-Year Ban,", June 16, 2009

May 2, 2009 - Winner of the Kentucky Derby Is Tested for Steroids for the First Time

The 2009 winner of the Kentucky Derby, Mine That Bird, is tested for steroids for the first time in the history of the race. The 2008 winner, Big Brown, was known to be on the steroid stanozolol during the race only because his trainer admitted to injecting the horse with steroids, which was legal at the time.

"Kentucky Derby Goes Steroid-Free,", Apr. 30, 2009

May 4, 2009 - US Swimmer's Two-Year Doping Suspension Cut to One Year Due to Circumstances

A doping arbitration panel accepts US swimmer Jessica Hardy's claim that she accidentally ingested the banned substance that caused her to fail a drug test and get dropped from the 2008 US Olympic team one month before the Beijing Olympics. The banned substance, anabolic agent clenbuterol, was in a nutritional supplement made by one of her sponsors, AdvoCare. The panel reduces her suspension from two years to one year. Hardy may still be unable to compete in the 2012 Olympics because Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter states that any person who has been sanctioned with a suspension of more than six months for a doping violation may not participate in the next Olympic Games following the end of the suspension.

"Swimmer Hardy's Doping Wrist Slap Raises Big Questions," Seattle Times, May 5, 2009

May 7, 2009 - LA Dodger Manny Ramirez Suspended for 50 Games

Major League Baseball announces a 50 game suspension for LA Dodger Manny Ramirez on May 7, 2009 after he fails a drug test. The suspension is estimated to cost Ramirez $7.7 million in lost salary.

Ramirez releases a statement claiming that his doctor "gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy."

"Dodgers' Manny Ramirez Suspended 50 Games after Failing Drug Test," Los Angeles Times, May 8, 2009

May 17, 2009 - Bodybuilders Flee Testers

The 2009 National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA) Belgium Nationals Bodybuilding Championships are canceled because the 20 competitors flee the site when three anti-doping officials show up unannounced to do surprise steroid testing.

"2009 NABBA Belgium Nationals Cancelled after Steroid Testers Surprise Competitors,", May 18, 2009

July 30, 2009 - Two Players from the Red Sox 2004 and 2007 World Series Teams Tested Positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs in 2003

On July 30, 2009, the New York Times breaks the story that Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were on the list of 104 MLB baseball players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. Ramirez and Ortiz helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 and 2007, breaking an 86-year losing streak for the team.

Five other players have been tied to positive tests from the 2003 anonymous testing period: Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Jason Grimsley and David Segui. The test results were supposed to be anonymous but were seized by federal investigators. Ortiz and Ramirez were named by lawyers involved in litigation filed by the MLB Players Association, which wants the government to return the list of players who tested positive.

On Aug. 8, 2009, the MLB Players Association releases a statement condemning the decision by the New York Times to publish information that is sealed by a court order.

"Ortiz and Ramirez Said to Be on '03 Doping List," New York Times, July 30, 2009

Aug. 6, 2009 - NBA Player Rashard Lewis Receives 10 Game Suspension for Banned Substance

"Orland Magic forward Rashard Lewis will sit [out] 10 games in 2009-10 season due to testing positive for a banned substance. It is believed the substance was 'testosterone' possibly due to DHEA in a nutritional supplement.

DHEA -- a testosterone precursor -- usually doesn't raise testosterone level enough to matter, however the drug can throw a positive into a urine test.

The NBA has been remarkably free of steroids and PEDs, either because the drugs have not permeated the NBA culture, or because the steroid testing is weak. This may be only the 4th or 5th steroids-related NBA suspension in history."

"Rare NBA Steroid-Related Suspension: Orlando Magic player Rashard Lewis Reportedly out 10 games for Drug Policy Violation (Test


Jan. 7, 2010 - Boxers Walk Away from $25 Million Each in Disagreement over Drug Testing Procedures

A boxing match between two of the world's top boxers, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Manny Pacquiao, is canceled when they cannot agree on drug testing procedures leading up to the welterweight title fight.

In Dec. 2009, Mayweather accused Pacquiao of using performance enhancing drugs. Mayweather wanted both boxers to submit to random blood and urine tests in accordance with the protocol of the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The testing would have been beyond the requirements of the Nevada Athletic Commission, the agency responsible for drug testing for boxing matches in Nevada.

Pacquiao, who has never failed a drug test, agreed to give unlimited urine samples but believed that two blood samples would be sufficient to establish the lack of banned substances in his system.

The fight had the potential to be the highest-grossing boxing match in history, with each boxer estimated to earn $25 million for his participation.

"Pacquiao-Mayweather Bout Is Off,", Jan. 7, 2010

Jan. 11, 2010 - Mark McGwire Admits to Using Steroids during His Baseball Career

"Mark McGwire admitted on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade, including during the 1998 season when he broke the then single-season home run record..

McGwire hit a then-record 70 homers in 1998 during a compelling race with Sammy Sosa, who finished with 66.

But McGwire consistently asserted that he would have hit home runs without PEDs."

"McGwire Apologizes to La Russa, Selig,", Jan. 11, 2010

May 19, 2010 - Floyd Landis Admits to Doping for Most of His Career

Floyd Landis admits to using performance enhancing drugs for most of his career in an interview with ESPN on May 19, 2010. Landis says he used EPO, HGH, testosterone, and blood transfusions, and confirms that he sent emails with his admissions to cycling and anti-doping officials. His emails also accused other riders, including Lance Armstrong, of using performance enhancing drugs. ESPN quoted Landis as saying, "I don't feel guilty at all about having doped. I did what I did because that's what we [cyclists] did and it was a choice I had to make after 10 years or 12 years of hard work to get there... My choices were, do it and see if I can win, or don't do it and I tell people I just don't want to do that, and I decided to do it." Despite his admissions that he used testosterone at other times in his career, Landis maintains that he was not using it when he won the Tour de France in 2006, and he cannot explain his positive drug test after the race. He divulges that he was using HGH at that time, however.

"Landis Admits Doping, Accuses Lance,", May 20, 2010

Aug. 19, 2010 - Roger Clemens Indicted on Charges of Lying to Congress about Using Performance Enhancing Drugs

"Roger Clemens, the larger-than-life pitcher who appeared destined for the Baseball Hall of Fame, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on Thursday [Aug. 19, 2010] on charges that he lied to Congress when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

The 19-page indictment charged Clemens, 48, with three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress during his testimony in a nationally televised hearing in February 2008 before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

If convicted, Clemens could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, but under current sentencing guidelines, a conviction would most likely bring a 15- to 21-month sentence. He would probably receive less prison time if he accepted a plea agreement."

"Clemens Lied about Doping, Indictment Charges," New York Times, Aug. 19, 2010

Mar. 21, 2011 - Barry Bonds Found Guilty on One Count of Obstruction of Justice in Steroids and HGH Case

"A federal jury convicted Barry Bonds of a single charge of obstruction of justice Wednesday [Apr. 13, 2011] but failed to reach a verdict on the three counts at the heart of allegations that he knowingly used steroids and human growth hormone and lied to a grand jury about it.

Following a 12-day trial and almost four full days of deliberation, the jury of eight women and four men could reach a unanimous verdict only on one of the four counts against Bonds. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston declared a mistrial on the others, a messy end to a case that put the slugger -- and baseball itself -- under a cloud of suspicion for more than three years...

The case also represented the culmination of the federal investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroids ring. Federal prosecutors and the Justice Department will have to decide whether to retry Bonds on the unresolved counts...

Each count Bonds was tried on carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. However, federal guidelines suggest a total sentence of 15 to 21 months."

"Bonds Found Guilty of Obstruction,", Apr. 13, 2011

Apr. 8, 2011 - Manny Ramirez Retires after Failing Another Drug Test

Manny Ramirez retires from baseball after testing positive for an unnamed banned substance, an infraction that would have carried a 100-game suspension. At the time of his retirement Ramirez was playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. In May 2009 Ramirez, then playing for the LA Dodgers, received a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test.

"Tampa Bay's Manny Ramirez Retires After Testing Positive for Banned Substance," Los Angeles Times Apr. 8, 2011

July 16, 2011 - North Korean Soccer Players Reportedly Struck by Lightning, Treated with Deer Musk, and Tested Positive for Steroids

"Five North Korean soccer players tested positive for steroids at the Women's World Cup. Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, said [on July 16, 2011] that after two players had been caught during the tournament this month, FIFA tested the rest of the North Korean squad and found three more positive results. A North Korean delegation told FIFA that the steroids had accidentally been taken with traditional Chinese medicines based on musk deer glands to treat players who were struck by lightning on June 8 during training."

"North Koreans Fail Doping Tests," New York Times, July 16, 2011

Aug. 4, 2011 - NFL to Become First Major American Sports League to Conduct Blood Tests

NFL players ratified a new, 10-year collective bargaining agreement Thursday [Aug. 4, 2011], hours after it was finalized, and the contract allows the NFL to become the first major U.S. professional sports league to use blood testing for human growth hormone...

Players eventually would be subject to random testing for HGH, in addition to annual checks -- as is the case for all banned substances in the league's drug-testing program -- only after the union is confident in the way the testing and appeals process will work.

"NFL players ratify new CBA,", Aug. 5, 2011

Aug. 18, 2011 - First Professional Athlete in the US to Test Positive for HGH Is Suspended for 50 Games

"Mike Jacobs, a first baseman in the Colorado Rockies organization who has played over 500 games in the major leagues, including dozens with the Mets, is the first professional baseball player to test positive for human growth hormone, a banned performance-enhancing drug.

Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Jacobs, who was playing for the Class AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox this season, has been suspended for 50 games for failing the drug test. The Rockies subsequently released him.

Jacobs, 30, is the first professional athlete in the United States to test positive for H.G.H., said a spokesman for the World Anti-Doping Agency...

His blood sample was sent to U.C.L.A.'s Olympic Analytical Laboratory, which is accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and scientists there detected H.G.H. in it. The drug, which is believed to boost lean muscle mass and aid in recovery, is illegal to possess in the United States without a doctor's prescription."

Juliet Macur and Michael S. Schmidt, "Minor Leaguer Tests Positive for H.G.H.,", Aug. 18, 2011

Feb. 3, 2012 - Two-Year Doping Investigation of Cyclist Lance Armstrong Ends with No Charges

"Federal prosecutors dropped their investigation of Armstrong on Friday [Feb. 3, 2012], ending a nearly two-year effort aimed at determining whether the world's most famous cyclist and his teammates joined in a doping program during his greatest years.

Armstrong steadfastly has denied he doped during his unparalleled career, but the possibility of criminal charges threatened to stain not only his accomplishments, but his cancer charity work as well. Instead, another attempt to prove a star athlete used performance-enhancing drugs has fallen short, despite years of evidence gathering across two continents.

'I am gratified to learn that the U.S. Attorney's Office is closing its investigation,' Armstrong said in a statement. 'It is the right decision and I commend them for reaching it. I look forward to continuing my life as a father, a competitor, and an advocate in the fight against cancer without this distraction.'

U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. announced in a press release that his office 'is closing an investigation into allegations of federal criminal conduct by members and associates of a professional bicycle racing team owned in part by Lance Armstrong.'"

"Feds Won't Charge Lance Armstrong,", Feb. 4, 2012

Feb. 6, 2012 - 2010 Tour de France Winner Alberto Contador Found Guilty of Doping and Stripped of Title

"Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title Monday [Feb. 6, 2012] and banned for two years after sports' highest court found the Spanish cyclist guilty of doping.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the three-time Tour champion after rejecting his claim that his positive test for clenbuterol was caused by eating contaminated meat on a 2010 Tour rest day...

The ruling came just three days after U.S. federal prosecutors dropped a doping investigation involving seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong. The American was a teammate of Contador during the Spaniard's 2009 Tour victory. The revised list of champions shows Armstrong and Contador combined to win nine of the 11 Tours from 1999-2009.

[Contador] becomes only the second Tour de France champion to be disqualified and stripped of victory for doping. The first was American Floyd Landis, who lost his 2006 title after testing positive for testosterone.

Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who finished second at the 2010 Tour, stands to be elevated to the top spot."

"Sports Court Strips Contador of 2010 Tour,", Feb. 6, 2012

Feb. 23, 2012 - Ryan Braun Becomes First Professional Baseball Player to Successfully Appeal a Positive Drug Test

On Feb. 23, 2012, "Brewers leftfielder and reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun won his appeal to overturn a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test, becoming the first major-leaguer to win an appeal of a positive test...

[A]t least part of Braun's defense hinged on his sample having been collected on a Saturday afternoon -- Oct. 1, after the Brewers beat the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the NLDS -- but not in time for the doping control officer to get it to FedEx that day. The sample was not delivered to FedEx for shipping to a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited lab in Montreal until the following Monday afternoon...

[A] source with knowledge of the sample said that the seals on the sample were unbroken when it arrived at the lab, and that standard lab tests on the sample showed that it had not degraded...

A source familiar with the situation said... that his testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio was three times higher than any result in the history of baseball's [drug testing] program...

'We always felt he was innocent,' Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a telephone interview, 'and I have to believe him and I have to trust him.'

Major League Baseball, however, offered a strong dissent to the ruling in a statement from executive vice president Rob Manfred, saying that the league 'vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das [who was fired by MLB on May 14, 2013].'"

"Braun Wins Drug Suspension Appeal," Sports Illustrated, Feb. 23, 2012

[Editor’s Note: After being implicated in the Biogenesis scandal and suspended for 65 games in 2013, Ryan Braun admitted that he did use performance enhancing drugs in 2011, contrary to his earlier claims of innocence. In an Aug. 22, 2013 statement, Braun stated, in part:

“Here is what happened. During the latter part of the 2011 season, I was dealing with a nagging injury and I turned to products for a short period of time that I shouldn’t have used. The products were a cream and a lozenge which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation. It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately.

I deeply regret many of the things I said at the press conference after the arbitrator’s decision in February 2012. At that time, I still didn’t want to believe that I had used a banned substance.”]

Aug. 23, 2012 - Lance Armstrong Stripped of His Seven Tour de France Titles After Declining to Fight Doping Charges

"Lance Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles late Thursday [Aug. 23, 2012] after he refused to fight allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Mr. Armstrong notified the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he wouldn't fight the charges the agency brought against him in June, a move that, according to USADA, immediately strips him of all of his athletic titles going back to Aug. 1, 1998, roughly a year before his first Tour de France victory. USADA said Mr. Armstrong is also banned immediately from competing in Olympic and other elite-level sports for the rest of his life."

Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell, "Cycling Legend Loses Titles," Wall Street Journal, Aug. 24, 2012

[Editor’s Note: On Oct. 10, 2012, USADA released its evidence against Lance Armstrong in a 202-page document titled “Reasoned Decision Of The United States Anti-doping Agency On Disqualification And Ineligibility.”

On Oct. 17, 2012, Nike released a statement to announce the termination of its contract with Lance Armstrong, “due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade.”

On Oct. 22, 2012, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) also agreed to strip Lance Armstrong’s titles including his seven Tour de France championships. The UCI said it will “disqualify all competitive results achieved by Mr. Armstrong from 1 August 1998 thereon.”

On Jan. 17, 2013, Lance Armstrong in an interview with Oprah Winfrey officially admitted to having used performance enhancing drugs starting from the mid-1990s through his final Tour de France win in 2005. Armstrong told Oprah: “I viewed it as very simple. You had things that were oxygen-boosting drugs that were incredible beneficial for endurance sports, and that’s all you needed. My cocktail was only EPO, transfusions, and testosterone.” He insisted that he did not dope or use blood transfusions at all in 2009 or 2010.]

Aug. 5, 2013 - Alex Rodriguez Suspended through 2014; 12 Players Suspended 50 Games for Violating MLB Drug Policy

"Major League Baseball's investigation into the link between the now-shuttered Biogenesis anti-aging clinic and performance-enhancing substances provided to more than a dozen players culminated in Monday's [Aug. 5, 2013] announcement that 13 players have been suspended.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez topped the list on one of the most significant disciplinary days in baseball history. MLB handed down a suspension that would sideline the 38-year-old Rodriguez without pay through the end of the 2014 regular season [If his appeal is denied and he serves out his suspension, there will still be $61 million left on the final three years of his contract, 2015-17]...

Rodriguez's discipline, MLB said in its written announcement, is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez's discipline under the basic agreement is for attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation...

The players who were handed 50-game suspensions that effectively end their regular seasons include Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo and recently demoted Mets utilityman Jordany Valdespin.

Minor Leaguers Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos, Cesar Puello and Sergio Escalona were also suspended...

Brewers All-Star left-fielder Ryan Braun agreed to a season-ending 65-game punishment last month."

"A-Rod gets Ban through 2014; 12 get 50 games,", Aug. 5, 2013

Apr. 22, 2015 - Barry Bonds Obstruction of Justice Conviction Overturned

"On Wednesday [Apr. 22, 2015], the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco reversed the conviction from 2011, stemming from an answer that Bonds gave to a grand jury in 2003. An 11-judge panel of the appeals court, in a 10-1 ruling, said it was not material to the government's investigation into a drug-distribution ring...

The opinion also said that Bonds, 50, may not be tried again on the same count."

John Branch, "Appeals Court Overturns Barry Bonds's Only Conviction," New York Times, Apr. 22, 2015

Aug. 2, 2015 - Leaked Doping Tests Indicate Widespread Doping in Track and Field, Olympics, and Marathons

"Secret data revealing the extraordinary extent of cheating by athletes at the world's most prestigious events can be disclosed for the first time today [Aug. 2, 2015], after the biggest leak of blood-test data in sporting history...

The blood-doping data reveals that a third of medals, including 55 golds, have been won in endurance events at the Olympics and world championships by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests — yet the authorities have failed to take away any of the medals...

The data in the files has been kept under lock and key for years at the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Monaco headquarters, but was released by a whistleblower who was seriously concerned about its 'disturbing' content...

More than 800 athletes — one in seven of those named in the files — have recorded blood-test results described by one of the experts as 'highly suggestive of doping or at the very least abnormal'."

"Revealed: Sport's Dirtiest Secret,", Aug. 2, 2015

Nov. 9, 2015 - Report Alleges Widespread Doping by Russian Track and Field Athletes

"The investigation has confirmed the existence of widespread cheating through the use of doping substances and methods to ensure, or enhance the likelihood of, victory for athletes and teams. The cheating was done by the athletes' entourages, officials and the athletes themselves... An athlete's decision not to participate is likely to leave him or her without access to top calibre coaches and thus the opportunity to excel...

[T]hese investigative reports demonstrate strong corroborating evidence that the Moscow laboratory has been involved in a widespread cover-up of positive doping tests...

Although the IC [Independent Commission] report and recommendations are confined to Russia and athletics, the IC wishes to make it clear that, in its considered view, Russia is not the only country, nor athletics the only sport, facing the problem of orchestrated doping in sport."

The Independent Commission Report #1

June 8, 2016 - Maria Sharapova Banned from Tennis for Two Years

Russian player Maria Sharapova, former number one in tennis, tested positive for meldonium and was handed a two-year ban by the International Tennis Federation. The ban was backdated to Jan. 26, 2016, which cancelled her ranking and winnings from the Australian Open. The ban ends on Jan. 25, 2018. The ban could have been four years under ITA rules, but Sharapova's admission of using the drug swayed the tribunal. Sharapova stated she'd used the drug since 2006 and was not aware it had been added to list of banned drugs. Sharapova's ban was reduced to 15 months in Oct. 2016.

Martyn Herman, "Sharapova Banned for Two Years by ITF,", June 8, 2016

Owen Gibson, "Maria Sharapova Doping Ban Reduced to 15 Months as French Open Return Likely,", Oct. 4, 2016

July 21, 2016 - 2016 Olympics Ban for Russian Track and Field Athletes Upheld

"Russian track and field athletes will remain banned from the Olympics following claims the country ran a state-sponsored doping programme.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 Russian athletes attempted to overturn the suspension, implemented by the body that governs world athletics.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has ruled [on July 21, 2016] it can stand...

Separately, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering calls to ban all Russian competitors from the Rio Games following a second report into state-sponsored doping.

Some Russian athletes could compete in Rio as neutrals if they meet a number of criteria, including being repeatedly tested outside their homeland...

[A]nother Wada-commissioned report delivered earlier this week - the McLaren report - contained more damaging allegations and suggested senior figures in Russia's sports ministry were complicit in an organised cover-up."

"Rio Olympics 2016: Russia Fails to Overturn Athlete Ban for Next Month's Games,", July 21, 2016

Mar. 1, 2019 - Top-Ranked Bridge Player Suspended for Doping

"The world No 1 bridge player has been suspended after failing a drugs test.

Geir Helgemo, who is Norwegian but represents Monaco in bridge events, tested positive for synthetic testosterone and the female fertility drug clomifene at a World Bridge Series event in Orlando in September...

The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and as such abides by World Anti-Doping Agency rules."

Press Association, "World's No 1 Bridge Player Suspended after Failing a Drugs Test,", Mar. 1, 2019

Dec. 9, 2019 - WADA Bans Russia from Global Competition

"Russia has been banned from major global sporting competitions for four years by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)...
Those recommendations were made after inconsistencies were found in data obtained from RUSADA's Moscow Laboratory including 'significant deletions and/or alterations' made in December 2018 and January 2019 regarding presumptive positive tests...
RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but the path has been left open for Russian athletes to compete at World Championships and Olympic Games including Tokyo 2020 under a neutral banner as they did at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics."

Rory Jiwani, "WADA Bans Russia From Major Global Competitions for Four Years,", Dec. 9, 2019

Mar. 10, 2020 - 27 People Indicted in Horse Racing Doping Scandal

"More than two dozen people involved in the horse racing industry have been indicted for taking part in a scheme to give racehorses performance-enhancing drugs to help them win races around the world, federal prosecutors announced Monday [Mar. 9, 2020].

One of the defendants is trainer Jason Servis, who prosecutors say 'doped virtually all horses under his control,' including Maximum Security, the colt that crossed the finish line first at last year's Kentucky Derby but was disqualified for interference. Last month, Maximum Security won $10 million in the inaugural Saudi Cup."

Prosecutors indicted 27 horse trainers, veterinarians, and drug distributors for their roles in doping racehorses with the goal of improving their performances in races to win prize money.

Editors' note: Trainer Jason Servis was sentenced to four years in federal prison on July 26, 2023 after pleading guilty to participation in a horse-doping scheme. He is also sentenced to pay $163,932 in restitution and a $30,000 fine. Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil said he had “put the lives of the horses and the jockeys who rode them at risk.... You did endanger the horses in your care. Luckily, they didn’t break down. You tried to gain an unfair advantage. I hope you accept that, but I don’t think that you do. At the end of the day, unquestionably, you undermined the integrity of horse racing.”

Sonia Moghe and Eric Levenson, "Trainer of Champion Horse Maximum Security among 27 People Indicted in Horse-Racing Doping Scheme,", Mar. 10, 2020

Melissa Hoppert and Gaya Gupta, "Prominent Horse Trainer Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison in Doping Scheme,", July 26, 2023

Mar. 15, 2020 - NFL Loosens Rules on Players' Marijuana Use

"Under the new collective bargaining agreement (ratified on Mar. 15, 2020), players who test positive for marijuana will no longer be suspended. Testing will be limited to the first two weeks of training camp instead of from April to August, and the threshold for the amount of 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol — or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana — needed to trigger a positive test will be raised fourfold...

N.F.L.’s laxer standards are a big departure from the past. But while players will not be suspended for positive tests, they can be fined several weeks’ salary, depending on the number of positive tests. First-time positive tests will, as before, mean diversion into a league-mandated treatment program. Players who refuse to take part in testing or clinical care can be suspended for three games after a fourth violation, with escalating penalties for further violations."

Ken Belson, "N.F.L. Bows to Marijuana's New Status,", Apr. 13, 2020

Apr. 2020 - United States Anti-Doping Agency Trials Virtual Drug Testing

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) began a pilot program in late Mar. 2020 to test athletes without an in-person visit. While the program, called Project Believe 2020, was being discussed for months, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic caused the agency to roll out the trial more quickly to protect athletes and testers from exposure. The pilot program is expected to last eight weeks. Athletes will get a testing kit in the mail. Then, on any day during a specified one-hour window, the athlete will get a video call from a tester. The athlete must show the tester their bathroom on video to show no one else is present, fill the provided container with urine off camera, and then use the provided temperature strip to show that the sample is fresh on camera. The athlete will then press a small device into their bicep to take a blood sample on camera. Both the urine and blood samples are sealed on camera and shipped to the USADA for testing. Olympic athletes swimmer Katie Ledecky, runners Noah Lyles, Allyson Felix, Emma Coburn and Aliphine Tuliamuk, as well as about a dozen other athletes are part of the trial run.

Matthew Futterman, "Doping Tests Go Virtual. Is It Temporary or a Glimpse of the Future?,", Apr. 15, 2020

Dave Quinn, "Olympians Pilot Virtual Drug Testing Program during Coronavirus Pandemic,", Apr. 15, 2020

Oct. 26, 2020 - Doping Tests Dramatically Limited by COVID-19

In Apr. 2019 alone, 25,219 blood and urine samples were collected from athletes to test for performance-enhancing drugs. In Apr. 2020, amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdowns, only 576 samples were collected.

With only months until the rescheduled 2020 Olympics (now happening in 2021), Chief Executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart, stated, "It would be naïve for us to think people have not taken advantage this time."

Tygart reported that, according to an anonymous survey given to 1,400 athletes, almost 10% said they had taken performance-enhancing drugs in the past 12 months, including 2.5% who reported using testosterone, human growth hormone, and other drugs that increase red blood cell capacity and oxygen capacity, all three considered the most potent PEDs. 4% admitted marijuana use.

Matthew Futterman, "Doping Tests Are Returning, but It Might Be Too Late,", Oct. 23, 2020

Dec. 4, 2020 - Trump Signs Anti-Doping Law

On Dec. 4, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act. The act, named for Russian whistle-blower Grigory Rodchenkov who exposed the Russian doping scandal, will allow the federal government to impose criminal sanctions on people involved in doping at major international sporting events with American athletes, sponsors, and broadcasters. Penalties include up to 10 years in prison and fines of $250,000 for individuals and $1 million for organizations, and can be imposed upon the athletes, coaches, doctors, agents, and officials.

The USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) welcomed the new law. But the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) questioned why American college and professional leagues were removed from the act and voiced concerns of conflicting rules: "No nation has ever before asserted criminal jurisdiction over doping offenses that occurred outside its national borders -- and for good reason. It is likely to lead to overlapping laws in different jurisdictions that will compromise having a single set of anti-doping rules for all sports and all anti-doping organizations under the World Anti-Doping Code."

George Ramsey, "US Anti-Doping Bill Welcomed as 'Monumental Day' in the Fight for Clean Sport amid WADA Criticism,", Nov. 18, 2020

George Ramsey, "US Anti-Doping Bill Signed into Law,", Dec. 5, 2020

Dec. 17, 2020 - Russia's Doping Ban Cut in Half

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland halved Russia's doping ban from four to two years. Russia will not be able to have teams in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, or the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The country may not be represented by its anthem or flag at other international sporting events and also is not allowed to host any major sporting events during the ban. Russian athletes may still compete as neutral competitors.

The court stated, “The consequences which the panel has decided to impose are not as extensive as those sought by WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency]. This should not, however, be read as any validation of the conduct of RUSADA or the Russian authorities.”

WADA banned Russia for four years on Dec. 9, 2019.

Tariq Panja, "Russia’s Doping Ban Is Cut to a Largely Symbolic Two Years,", Dec. 17, 2020

June 15, 2021 - American Runner Shelby Houlihan Banned for Four Years for Positive Anabolic Steroids Test

Shelby Houlihan, who is the US 1,500 meter and 5,000 meter record holder, tested positive for nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, on December 15, 2020. She was notified of the positive test on January 14, 2021, and appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration.

Houlihan was notified that the appeal was denied on June 11, 2021. The penalty is a four-year ban, meaning the runner will not be able to compete in the US Olympic trials or the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, where she was expected to be a medal contender.

Houlihan claims the positive test is the result of eating a pork burrito containing pork offal (entrails and internal organs) about 10 hours before the Dec. 2020 test. A Feb. 2015 study funded by WADA indicated that pork offal could cause a false positive for nandrolone.

Sean Ingle, "US Olympic 1500m Contender Houlihan Banned for Four Years despite Burrito Excuse,", June 15, 2021

Jill Martin and Hollie Silverman, "An Olympic Runner Was Banned after Testing Positive for a Steroid. She Believes It's a False Positive from a Pork Burrito,", June 15, 2021

July 1, 2021 - American Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson Tests Positive for Marijuana

American Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson won the women’s 100-meter race at the US track and field trials in June 2021. The positive marijuana test resulted in the immediate invalidation of the win.

According to an Olympics team list released on July 6, 2021 by USA Track & Field, Sha'Carri Richardson will not compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics although her suspension will end before the 4x100-meter relay event.

Kevin Draper and Juliet Macur, "Sha’Carri Richardson, a Track Sensation, Tests Positive for Marijuana,", July 1, 2021

Steve Almasy and Jill Martin, "Though Her Suspension Ends before Relay Event, Sha'Carri Richardson Left off US Olympic Track Team,", July 6, 2021

Sep. 14, 2021 - WADA to Review Status of Marijuana as Prohibited Drug

The World Anti-Doping Agency stated: “[F]ollowing receipt of requests from a number of stakeholders, the ExCo [Executive Committee] endorsed the decision of the List Expert Advisory Group to initiate in 2022 a scientific review of the status of cannabis. Cannabis is currently prohibited in competition and will continue to be in 2022.”

World Anti-Doping Agency, “WADA Executive Committee Endorses Recommendations of Non-Compliance of Eight Anti-Doping Organizations,”, Sep. 14, 2021

Feb. 7, 2022 - MLB Steroid Testing Paused for First Time in 20 Years

Major League Baseball's drug agreement and five-year labor contract, both between management and the players’ association, have expired, resulting in a pause in steroid testing as of 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 1, 2021. The pause was confirmed on Feb. 7, 2022.

Olafimihan Oshin, "Steroid Testing Halted amid MLB Lockout: Report,", Feb. 8, 2022

Sep. 23, 2022 - Teen Russian Tennis Player Banned for Nine Months for Doping Violation

An unnamed minor Russian tennis player was banned for nine months (retroactively dating from Mar. 5, 2022 through Dec. 4, 2022). The teen may not compete or attend games organized by tennis' governing bodies. The player tested positive for meldonium, the same drug for which fellow Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was banned for two years in 2016.

International Tennis Integrity Agency, "Russian Player Receives Tennis Anti-Doping Sanction,", Sep. 23, 2022

Martyn Herman, "Sharapova Banned for Two Years by ITF,", June 8, 2016

Aimee Lewis, "Russian Teenager Banned from Tennis for Nine Months Following Anti-Doping Breach,", Sep. 24, 2022

Oct 21, 2022 - Former Tennis #1 Simona Halep Suspended for Doping

Simona Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion currently ranked #9, was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Integrity Agency on Oct. 21, 2022 following a positive test for roxadustat during the US Open. She faces up to a four-year ban from tennis.

Roxadustat was approved in the European Union to treat anemia resulting from chronic kidney failure. The drug causes the body to produce more erythropoietin (EPO), a natural hormone that is frequently used for doping.

ESPN News Services, "Simona Halep Suspended for Positive Doping Test Taken at US Open,", Oct. 21, 2022

Jan. 23, 2024 - NBA Suspends Cleveland Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson for Positive PED Test

The NBA suspended Tristan Thompson, center forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, after he tested positive for ibutamoren, which stimulates HGH, and SARM-LGD-4033, which acts as testosterone. Thompson is suspended for 25 games. A second offense would result in a 55-game suspension and a third would result in dismissal from the NBA.

Ayana Archie, "NBA Suspends Tristan Thompson After He Tests Positive for Performance-Enhancing Drugs,", Jan. 24, 2024

Jan. 29, 2024 - Russian Figure Skater Kamila Valieva Banned for Four Years

Kamila Valieva, who was 15 at the time, tested positive for three banned drugs ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, but the results were not known until after the Russian team had won. As a a result officials concluded medals would not be awarded for a completed event for the first time in Olympic history. The team as a whole, however, was not disqualified and the Olympic committee adjusted the points so that United States has now won gold, Japan silver, and Russia bronze. The four-year ban is retroactive to the date of the sample, Dec. 25, 2021, so Valieva may compete in the 2026 Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Olympics. All of her wins from since the sample are void.

Ayana Archie, "The Olympics Will Begin Awarding Medals to Runner-Ups after the Kamila Valieva Ban,", Jan, 30, 2024

Nardos Haile, "Russian Figure Skater Kamila Valieva Receives Four-Year Doping Ban from Court,", Jan. 29, 2024

Tariq Panja and Andrew Das, "Russian Skaters Stripped of Olympic Gold but Will Still Get the Bronze,", Jan. 30, 2024

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