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Top 10 Controversies Related to Olympics

Every sport in the world has been related with one or the other controversy and Olympics is the place where many sports are played under one roof hence controversies are bound to happen. Let us have a look at some of the most ‘controversial controversies’ of the Olympics.

2012 – Shin A Lam

Controversy: Fencing Clock

The South Korean epee fencer Shin A Lam thought that she has won the semifinals of the epee because her opponent Britta Heidemann from Germany had only one second left to launch her attack, but at that time the official clock malfunctioned and judges allowed Heidermann to have one more hit at Lam. Lam lost the match eventually.

1972 – Basketball match between USA and Soviet Union

Controversy: Time ran out.

During the days of the cold war 1972 Olympics in Munich saw that USSR team got three chances to inbound the ball with only three seconds to go and despite the clock ran out twice USSR managed to win the game by 51-50 with time expired. USA did not claim the Silver Medal as a token of protest.

1988 – Ben Johnson

Controversy: Steroids

Canadian athlete Ben Johnson won the 100 meter dash and later found to have banned substance like steroids. The world record of 9.79 and the gold medal was taken back.

2000 – Marion Jones

Controversy: Steroids

American sprinter Marion Jones dominated the Olympics at Sydney with three gold and two bronze medals, but in October 2007, she admitted to have used the steroids and her medals were taken back.

1960 – Lance Larson

Controversy: Decision on the winner

Lance Larson touched the wall first in the 100 meter freestyle swim and his opponent, John Devitt congratulated him there and then only, but the judges could not decide the exact timings and after discussions lasted for a day a Swiss judged ruled in favor of Davitt.

1908 – 400 meter run

Controversy: Runners running into each other

In the first final of the 400 meter run in the 1908 Olympics John Carpenter was alleged to run into the British runner Wyndham Haslwelle just outside the track. The first four racers decided not to participate in the final race and Halswelle won the gold medal of the event with silver and bronze were not awarded.

1960 – Swimming

Controversy- Stealing a flag

Dawn Fraser was found to have stolen the Japanese flag from the outsides of the Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s palace. She was banned by the Australian Swimming Union for 10 years.

2008- Swimming

Controversy: Nude Swimmer

Laure Manaudou the French Swimmer gave a nude pose just ahead of the Beijing Games in 2008 and she won two medals in the 2004 Athens games as well. She was the center of the attraction during 2008.

1950-1980: East Germany

Controversy: Doping

The east German players were always charged with doping in all the Olympics they played during 1950 and 1980. They were allegedly used to take turinabol and jenapharm steroid pills. Women athletes remained infertile because of taking such pills.

1996 – Atlanta Olympics

Controversy: Bombing

Richard Jewell a part time security guard was accused of setting off a pipe bomb at the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park which killed one person Alice Hawthrone. Jewell was though exonerated after two years of legal battle.


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David Whisler, the maestro of editing at Sportycious, brings a touch of panache to the world of sports journalism. With an eagle eye for detail and a flair for enthralling storytelling, David ensures Sportycious remains the go-to destination for readers seeking an exhilarating and enlightening experience. When not juggling commas and semicolons, you'll find David enthusiastically supporting his favourite teams and indulging in his own sporting escapades.

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