Doping Cases at the Olympics, 1968-2012
Summary: The Summer Olympics (0.49%) have nearly double the percentage of reported doping cases as the Winter Olympics (0.28%). Athens 2004 was the most doped Olympics with 26 reported violations of anti-doping rules. Weightlifting is the most doped sport with 36 violations - 28.4% of all Olympic doping cases. Austria has the most doping violations in the Olympics (10) followed by Greece and Russia (tied for second with nine) and then the USA with eight. The four Olympic doping charts below were compiled from over 20 sources and provide a handy summary of doping in the Olympic Games from 1968-2010.
The number of doping cases reported refers to the number of positive tests found by the International Olympic Committee and the WADA-accredited laboratory run by anti-doping scientists from multiple countries. Athletes who tested positive for banned substances prior to the Olympics and were not allowed to compete are not included in these numbers. For example, WADA President John Fahey announced that at least 107 athletes who play Summer Olympic sports were sanctioned for doping in the six months leading up to the London Olympics, making them ineligible to compete.
V. Notes and Sources
Tables I and II: The data for the number of drug tests conducted and the number of doping cases recorded from 1968-2008 were extracted from the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) Jan. 2014 report "Factsheet: The Fight Against Doping and Promotion of Athletes' Health." (100 KB) . The data for the number of drug tests conducted and the number of doping cases recorded for 2010 were obtained from the World Anti-Doping Agency's publication "Report of the Independent Observers: XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver 2010." (405 KB) . The 1992 Albertville Olympic Games were the last Winter Games held in the same year as the Summer Olympic Games.
*The 25 positive results include 14 people and six horse-doping cases initially, followed by an additional five people identified post-Olympics.
**The IOC's report states that "the cases recorded covered not only adverse analytical findings reported by the laboratory, but also violations of the anti-doping rules, such as non-arrival within the set deadline for the test, providing a urine sample that did not conform to the established procedures, and refusal to comply with the procedures or to deliver urine."
***The World Anti-Doping Agency's publication "Report of the Independent Observers: XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver 2010" states that the IOC collected 36 additional blood samples for Athlete Biological Passports, which are "based on the monitoring of an athlete's biological variables over time to facilitate indirect detection of doping on a longitudinal basis, rather than on the traditional direct detection of doping." These data are not included in the table.
Tables III and IV: The data for the number of doping cases reported by sport and the number of doping cases reported by country were extracted from multiple athlete pages on Sports-Reference.com (accessed Sep. 16, 2011) and a 2003 paper written by Honorable Justice J. EJ. Spender, Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and Member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, titled "The Integrity of Sporting Performance at the Olympic Games and at Other Elite Sports Events," (270 KB) and delivered at the 9th Greek Australian Legal and Medical Conference in Greece, in addition to the citations below.
1. "Illegal Steroids," Typesofsteroids.net website (accessed Sep. 19, 2011)
2. "Banned Weightlifters Named," Breakingnews.ie website, Aug. 19, 2004
3. "Ukrainian Weightlifter Igor Razoronov Expelled over Doping Offence," Xinhua News Agency website, Aug. 23, 2008
4. "IOC Executive Board Decision Regarding Mr. Aleksey Lesnichiy," Olympic.org website, Aug. 20, 2004
5. Karolos Grohmann, "Greece's Halkia Fails Test: Officials," Reuters website, Aug. 16, 2008
6. "Ukrainian Blonska Given Life Ban," BBC Sport website, Aug. 29, 2008
7. "Mongolia: Olympic Tradition," NBC Olympics website (accessed Sep. 19, 2011)
8. "Austria Fined for Olympic Doping," BBC Sport website, May 24, 2007
9. "Pospisil Allowed to Play On," World Hockey website, Feb. 7, 2010
10. "Vanoc Plans Fair-play Games," Vancouver Sun website, Nov. 12, 2007
11. "Report of the Independent Observers XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver 2010," World Anti-Doping Agency website, 2010
12. "SportsLetter," Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles website, Nov. 3, 2000
13. "Spanish Cyclist Moreno Tests Positive for EPO," The Guardian website, Aug. 11, 2008
14. Duncan Mackay, "Greek Athletes Fail Drug Tests," The Guardian website, Aug. 9, 2004
15. "Two More Athletes Fail Dope Tests," BBC Sport website, Aug. 15, 2008
16. Ash Ley, "Top 10 Athletes Who Lost Their Olympic Medal," Toptenz.net website (accessed Sep. 19, 2011)
17. "Kenyan's Appeal Thrown Out," BBC Sport website, Aug. 15, 2004
18. International Olympic Committee, "Factsheet: The Fight Against Doping and Promotion of Athlete's Health," Jan. 2014
19. "WADA President’s address to London 2012 press conference," Play True Magazine, July 25, 2012