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Doping in Sports: 7 Unfortunate Athletes Who Failed the Test


Doping is a big problem in sports. Some athletes dope deliberately and others do it unknowingly. Regardless, both attract fines, although the severity of the punishment will differ. To curb doping in sports, athletes are continuously tested throughout their careers to make sure they are competing fairly. 

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It’s up to them to make sure they stay clean. They also have to make themselves available for testing to avoid fines. In this article, we’ll look at athletes who failed a drug test.

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Blessing Okagbare

She was one of Nigeria’s biggest track and field athletes. However, the authorities caught up with her. In 2022, Okagbare was banned for 10 years for multiple violations and for being part of an organized doping ring. 

In June 2022, Okagbare tested positive for EPO and in July failed a test for human growth hormones. Initially, the sprinter was banned for five years but then doubled it for refusing to cooperate with investigations.

Cecilia Francis

In 2013, the Nigerian sprinter was banned for a year after she tested positive for the anabolic steroid methenolone during the 2013 African Youth Athletics Championship. At the time, she was 16 years old. Cecilia competed in the 4 by 400m, 100m and 200m. Unfortunately, she’s struggled to build herself back up to the elite level. 

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Justin Gatlin

Another athlete caught doping in sports was American sprinter Justin Gatlin. As good as he was, his reputation was soiled by his failed drug tests. His first failed test was in 2001 when he tested positive for amphetamines. He argued he was on ADHD medication. A year after that, he was banned for eight years but appealed and had it reduced to four years. 

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Kenneth Edwards

In 2014, a Jamaican Taekwondo athlete tested positive for a banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide in an out-of-competition test. Edwards denied taking any banned substance despite both of his samples testing positive. In 2010, Kenneth Edwards won the bronze medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games.

Paul Pogba

In September 2023, France and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba failed a drug test. His urine Sample A returned a positive for the use of testosterone and later on, his sample B also tested positive. Pogba said that he used nutritional supplements that led to the results. 

He’s provisionally suspended from football and stares at a lengthy ban of between two to four years. This adds another layer of controversial news to a player who has been battling injuries and faced immense criticism for lack of effort.  

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Sherone Simpson

In 2014, Simpson was handed an 18-month suspension after she tested positive for a banned stimulant oxilofrine. The sprinter said her then-trainer gave her the stimulant and denied claims of cheating. Despite pleading her innocence, the Jamaican anti-doping panel said she was negligent. Simpson won the 4 by 100 m relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics. 

Tyson Gay

To finish our list of athletes is American sprinter Tyson Gay. He’s one of the high-profile sprinters who failed a drugs test. The American tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid

Gay failed multiple tests and after his samples were confirmed, he expressed regret. The sprinter cooperated with the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and received a lesser suspension of 18 months and not two years.

Doping in sports damages the reputation of certain countries and lowers fans’ confidence in athletes. It also interferes with the aspect of fairness in sports. Clean athletes feel cheated and miss out on being celebrated in big moments.   

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