Published On: Feb 21 2014 01:57:21 PM CSTUpdated On: Jul 21 2016 10:14:37 AM CDT
With Russian track and field athletes losing their appeal Thursday to compete in the Rio Games amid allegations of a culture of state-sponsored doping, take a look at some other controversial and shocking moments in Olympic history.
Questions were raised over the judges' decision to award Russia's Adelina Sotnikova the gold medal in women's singles figure skating over Yuna Kim of South Korea at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Critics note that one of the judges had been suspended for a year for trying to fix an event at the Winter Olympics 16 years before and that another is married to the head of the Russian figure skating federation.
Nancy Kerrigan and Tanya Harding. In 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee during a practice round on the eve of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Mich. She was forced to drop out of the competition, which Tonya Harding won two days later. Harding would end up finishing eighth at the 1994 Winter Olympics, behind Kerrigan, who won silver. The U.S. Figure Skating Association would later strip Harding of the U.S. title after authorities found that she had failed to prevent the assault, which was planned by her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, and conducted by Shane Stant. Harding ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to hinder prosecution of the attackers. Gillooly, Eckhardt and Stant all served time in prison for the attack.
Jesse Owens. Black sprinter Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the 1936 games, which were held in Berlin. The story goes that Adolf Hitler did not honor Owens the same way he honored other top athletes at the games. Owens repeatedly recounted the Hitler snub throughout his life.
Jim Thorpe. American athlete Jim Thorpe was stripped of the gold medals he won in the 1912 summer Olympics in Stolkholm, Sweden after it was revealed that he played professional minor league baseball three years earlier. The medals were later reinstated in 1983, decades after his death.
1996 Summer Olympics bombing. A pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics. A security guard named Richard Jewell, who was initially falsely accused as a suspect, discovered the bomb and was able to clear most of the spectators before it detonated. It was later discovered that Eric Robert Rudolph was responsible for the attack that killed two people and injured 111 others.
Marion Jones. In 2007, Jones surrendered the three gold medals and two bronze medals she won at the 2000 Summer Olympics after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to lying to federal agents under oath about her use of steroids before the Olympics.
Hope Solo. The goalie for the U.S. women's soccer team admitted she was drunk during an appearance on "The Today Show" while being honored for a gold medal win at the August 2008 Beijing Olympics. She also received a public warning from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after she tested positive for the banned substance Canrenone in a urine test.
Chinese gymnasts. Many questioned whether the members of the female Chinese gymnastics team were actually younger than they the required age of 16 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the end, the International Olympic Committee concluded that everything was legal.
Michael Phelps. The most decorated U.S. swimmer in Olympics history was photographed smoking pot at the University of South Carolina in 2009. The picture was published on the cover of News of the World following his eight gold medal wins in Beijing, and Phelps' endorsement deals suffered. Phelps later won four gold medals and two silver medals at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius was the star of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London due to his ability to overcome his disability. The world was shocked when the double amputee was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013, after she was found fatally shot in Pistorius' home. He was found guilty of culpable homicide in the fall of 2014 and initially sentenced to five years in prison. However, as he was about to be released to house arrest after serving 10 months of his sentence, his case was reconsidered. On appeal, he was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Lance Armstrong. After the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency handed down a lifetime ban in 2012 that also cost him his record seven Tour de France victories, Lance Armstrong immediately started losing sponsors, the LiveStrong company that he founded and his Olympic bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney games.
Munich Massacre. At the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, a Palestinian terrorist group called "Black September" took 11 Israel athletes hostage in what is regarded as the worst attack in the history of the Games. Two of the athletes were killed in the attack and the other nine died the following day during a failed rescue attempt by German police officers that also left five of the eight terrorists dead. This memorial plaque stands in front of the Israeli athletes' quarters commemorating the victims.