Understanding Doping: History, Sanctions, and 4 Famous Cases

Doping is – Sport is one of many fields in which the people involved do not necessarily have honesty, integrity and fairness. This attitude is not only mandatory for athletes, but also officials involved in a sport.

Unfortunately, those of you who like to follow sports must often hear of various cases where the integrity of the sports administrator is questioned. Starting from corruption cases, match-fixing cases, to the involvement of board members in politics that should not be allowed.

It’s not only administrators who are sometimes involved in the negative activities above. Athletes can also commit some disgraceful acts that should not be allowed, such as intentionally injuring an opponent, getting involved in score fixing, being racist, or doing doping.

Among the several despicable acts in sport, doping is one of the most unacceptable. In this article, you will study the definition of doping, along with history, sanctions and athletes who have been involved in doping cases.

What is Doping?

Friends who are sports fans must be familiar with the term doping. Doping acts not only harm the athletes themselves, but also other athletes involved in the sport. So, what makes doping an act that is not commendable and must be avoided?

Doping is a term that refers to the use of performance enhancing drugs by athletes. That is, athletes will consume some kind of drug or even drugs so that they can compete better. This is something that is forbidden for athletes, and is considered a cheating method in sports.

The term doping is widely used by various organizations that regulate sporting competitions around the world. The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered unethical and violates the sportsmanship and integrity that should be embedded in athletes.

Therefore, doping is prohibited by many major international sports organizations. Furthermore, if there are athletes who take action to avoid detection of these drugs it will only exacerbate violations, especially from an ethical point of view because it is considered cheating and cheating.

Entering the modern era in sports, more and more sports organizations provide strict regulations regarding the use of drugs in sports. One of the main reasons for this ban is so that all athletes can get the same opportunity to compete.

The existence of drugs that can improve the body’s performance is certainly unfair to other athletes who have trained and worked hard to achieve victory. Sports organizations consider that the existence of doping acts by athletes will tarnish the “sport spirit”.

In addition, athletes who are caught using these drugs may also indirectly influence the public to use drugs as well. This is not something that is impossible to happen, considering that athletes also fall into the category of public figures and can inspire them to make a movement.

Another reason that sports organizers are also concerned about is the use of these drugs for health reasons for athletes. You need to know that the two most common types of drugs that athletes use to improve their performance are steroids and stimulants.

Steroids will increase your muscle mass and overall strength, while stimulants will sharpen your brain and reduce fatigue. This impact will be harmful to the body if used continuously. Moreover, there is a possibility that athletes will become addicted to using these drugs.

This is certainly not much different from using drugs in general. That is the reason why doping is so dangerous if it is carried out by athletes, and why many world sports bodies have begun to carry out anti-doping campaigns vigorously.

Doping History and Sanctions

If we look at history, it seems that doping has started to be used even since ancient Roman times and ancient Greek times. Athletes of the time, who were usually gladiators or chariot racers, were known to ingest some sort of potion to compete properly.

The first known case of doping was that of Abraham Wood in 1807. He was a British sprinter who admitted to taking a drug called laudanum, which is an alcoholic extract mixed with an opium-type drug.

Abraham Wood, who at that time participated in a sprint championship where he had to walk 800 kilometers to win a gold medal, said that laudanum helped him to maintain his endurance and stay awake at night.

After that, the idea of ​​using other drugs that could increase stamina and keep a person awake began to be used in other sports that also require endurance. One example is a bicycle race that takes 6 days to complete.

Even so, the use of drugs was basically based because the audience at that time wanted to see the athletes to attract the audience’s attention. The more spectators, the bigger the prize they will get from the championship.

Meanwhile, the use of steroid drugs which is quite popular among athletes is reportedly popularized by a weight lifter named John Ziegler from the United States. This figure is known to use steroid drugs after learning that weightlifters from the Soviet Union used testosterone-type drugs to win.

John Ziegler is known to have asked a drug company in the United States to develop drugs so they could still compete with the Soviet Union. As a result, steroid drugs were created which were eventually used by other athletes to improve their performance.

Of course, after the various cases described above, the use of drugs that can improve the body’s performance has begun to be vigorously banned. Various world sports organizations and institutions have begun to apply sanctions to athletes who fail to carry out doping tests.

One of the institutions that serves as an umbrella for the prohibition of the use of doping is called the World Anti-Doping Agency or commonly abbreviated as WADA. There are several sanctions that this institution gives if they find that an athlete is using drugs or fails to test for these drugs.

Some of the sanctions include disqualification in certain championships, prohibition to possess these prohibited substances, not getting prizes in championships, paying fines, so that they will not be passed in other drug tests if they try to appeal.

It’s not just WADA that has rules regarding doping tests. Each sports organization also has its own rules when it comes to doping. Even so, generally the sanctions they give to their athletes are not much different from WADA.

Usually, athletes will be banned from participating in certain competitions starting from a matter of months or even years. There are also those who give fines according to the salary received by athletes. Several organizations also do not hesitate to revoke the trophy that the athlete won if doping is found.

Famous Doping Cases

Even so, there are still athletes who still want to use doping for various reasons. Of course, these reasons can hardly be accepted by any sports organization considering the harm caused by the use of these drugs.

In history, there have been many cases where athletes doped for their personal needs. Many of them won the championship, but in the end could not get the trophy or medal because their championship was revoked and deemed invalid.

Below, there are 4 well-known doping cases involving several popular athletes as well. Some of them are also the reasons behind strengthening doping-related regulations in various sports competitions, so that the same case does not happen again. Here’s the presentation.

Thomas Hicks in the Olympics in St. St. Louis in 1904

This first name may be the earliest known doping case as well as being one of the most sinister. Thomas Hicks is a marathon runner from the United States. His doping case occurred in 1904 at the Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.

At that time, Thomas Hicks was about 10 kilometers away from the finish line. However, his body began to slow down and he had the potential to fail to finish the race. His assistant then gave him a mixture of Striknina and Brandy alcohol which was injected into his body so he could continue the race.

Striknina itself is a stimulant, which is now even more widely used as rat poison. The mixture of drugs did make Thomas Hicks finish the race. However, as long as he ran, Thomas Hicks often looked unsteady and even hallucinated several times.

The sport of the St. Petersburg Olympic Marathon. Louis 1904 was pretty messed up. Thomas Hicks was eventually named champion despite being known to be taking drugs without his knowledge, because his opponent at the time, Fred Lorz, was known to have driven a car up to 10 kilometers before the finish line.

Ben Johnson at the 1988 Seoul Olympics

Ben Johnson was once one of the best runners owned by Canada. However, his name was tarnished because he was found to be involved in a doping case, to be precise at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, where he was caught taking drugs to improve his performance.

It is known, Ben Johnson took stanozolol type drugs, which are types of drugs that are similar to steroids and function to harden muscle mass so that athletes can improve their performance when competing. These drugs helped Ben Johnson win a gold medal in the 100 meter dash.

This victory was certainly celebrated with joy by himself and Canadians, considering that Ben Johnson had previously only won a bronze medal in the same sport at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. However, in the end, the Olympic doping committee found traces of drugs in urine samples hers.

As a result, this gold medal was revoked and given to his rival, Carl Lewis. Not only that, Ben Johnson was also known to have used a similar substance in several championships in 1987, so his medal was also revoked because it tarnished sportsmanship.

Diego Maradona at the 1994 World Cup in the United States

Football fans must already know this controversial figure. Diego Maradona, although known for his extraordinary talent in football, is also known as a player with various kinds of sensations and controversies both on and off the field.

One of the controversies is the use of drugs in his career. Diego Maradona was addicted to cocaine which almost destroyed his football career. He was even banned from playing for 15 months. However, the use of prohibited substances does not stop there.

Diego Maradona was caught taking ephedrine, which he says can help reduce obesity. This incident took place in 1994 when Diego Maradona competed in the World Cup in the United States, to be precise after the match against Nigeria in the group phase.

This match against Nigeria was Diego Maradona’s last game in the Argentina national team. In his autobiography, Diego Maradona wrote that the ephedrine he used came from an American energy drink and had a different recipe from the energy drink he usually used in Argentina.

Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France from 1999 to 2004

The last name that will be discussed in this paper is a figure who had become a legend in cycling. Before being caught doing doping, Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France, the most prestigious bicycle race in the world, 6 times in a row from 1999 to 2004.

However, all of that changed after he was caught taking EPO type drugs, namely drugs that can produce more red blood cells. In sports, this can help athletes achieve stronger stamina and increase endurance.

Initially, Lance Armstrong had received accusations related to doping. However, he denied the accusations and said that he always passed doping tests. Ultimately, however, Lance Armstrong admitted that the accusations were true, in an interview with talk host Oprah Winfrey in 2013.

Lance Armstrong also finally admitted that he had faked a negative doping result. As a result, all of his titles from 1998 onwards were revoked, and his sponsors withdrew, costing Lance Armstrong a whopping $75 million.


Thus, the article that discusses doping ends, starting from its meaning, history, sanctions, and a number of well-known athletes who have been involved in doping cases. Hopefully, friends, you can take the lesson that using drugs is not something that can lead you to glory.

You’ve got examples where a number of famous athletes have suffered setbacks or even career destruction due to doping . The 4 examples above are just a few of the many athletes who are also known to have doped at one point in their careers.

Don’t let the momentary pleasures offered by many of these forbidden substances lead you down the wrong path. Moreover, for those of you who want to be athletes. It would be better if you train hard and study this sport deeper so you can win without the help of these drugs.