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Olympic Scandals

Celebrities, politicians, sportsmen and sportswomen, priests, doctors, lawyers and lawmakers, teachers, students, housewives, husbands, men, women, gays and lesbians are all entitled and subject for controversies. As in no one is exempted. Senior citizens, adulthood, children and sometimes even a kid got involved with scandals or controversies. But when someone who was involved to a scandal is just an ordinary person, the attention it may get is not as hot as those who have names. Sometimes, even a very small mistake if the one who committed was a big person, meaning a very well known person like an actor or a politician or a popular athlete, the news was much sensationalized. To the point that the person involved already had a tremendous trauma and the family was already damaged as the scandal had already broken collaterally all the persons surrounding the subject.

  • Olympic – a series of sports events that are attended by many states and nations globally, normally, almost all kinds of sports can be competed in Olympics. This is a modern day festivals of sports from which athletes of different countries go together to compete for the gold, silver and bronze medals. It is usually held after every four years in an assigned selected venue. Its host city is thoroughly chosen by authorities of the Olympics with a series of requirements and criteria.
  • Scandals - is a form of scrutinizing a person or a group of persons through widely sensationalized malicious allegation that could personally, emotionally, spiritually or physically damage the integrity, personality or the reputation of any individual or group of individuals who will suffer the most consequences. A scandal could be a political, religious, institutional, social or even personal scandal such as sex scandal or a scandal with drugs, gambling or a financial debt which are basically based on true or false allegations or sometimes based on a mixture of both true and false.
  • Olympic Scandals – Controversies, allegations, rumors or gossips that occur during the event of whether a summer or in a winter Olympics. Many of the past previous Olympics are not exempted with this kind of description. Some of them involve the players on the scandals, some are about the judges, some are bout the processes, or even some are about the Olympic itself. Though many of the allegations were not proven, there are clear signs that the rumors are based on facts and many evidences are sighted and some are even documented. had research some of the unforgettable controversies that lingered during the Olympic events or involved an athlete who played or competed in an Olympic games. Let us start with the most recent going back in times.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

  • The Russian – Georgian War that occurred during 2008 and involved South Ossetia and Abkhazia was the reason why Georgia decided to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics because the host city was Sochi which is under Russian territory. Though International Olympic Committee commented that it is very early to tell because the announcement was made on 2008 and there would be so many things that could happen in six years before 2014 Winter Olympics come. On December 2013, a report came out that the German President would not attend the event due to some unclear misunderstandings. There are also some announced boycotts due to gender discrimination specifically about gays and lesbians being open to the society. There is also some news that a skier representing Lebanon had posed very sexy in a certain photo shoot giving his government the reason to claim that the Olympian had created something scandalous that would damaged her own country.

2012 London Summer Olympics

  • 2012 London Summer Olympics had actually a lot of controversies involving different participants. One from the Olympic Committee particularly the Indian authority filed a complaint against the judges of the Boxing event from where Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao had won with 15-14 over Sumit Sangwan of India. There are so many people who watched the match were surprised with the decision and even ESPN tagged the event as “daylight robbery”. Another incident that buzzes the audience was when Japan’s men team for artistic gymnastic won a silver medal instead of bronze because the team also filed a complaint against the final performance of Kōhei Uchimura's. And probably the worst is when a women’s football event were delayed for more than an hour because the team from North Korea were introduced with a South Korean flag on the big screen. Another South Korean controversy arisen when Michel Morganella made a malicious comment on a social media about South Korean, giving the Olympic committee reason to kick him out of the Olympic.

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

  • 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic seemed to be the cleanest but yet touched by a minor controversy. This is when a skater on the men’s category had won the gold medal even without including a quadruple jump on his performance. For many Olympic enthusiasts, this is just another out of the rule and process decision. A complaint from a certain group had passed but not given ample time to be noticed.

2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

  • One of the most controversial summer Olympics to date as there are numerous questions raised during the event. One of which was the real ages of two female gymnasts from China, their looks do not go with their proclaimed ages, though the allegations were not proven. One of the most sensationalized incidents was when taekwondo player Angel Matos of Cuba kicked off a referee’s face as the referee disqualified the player for a time limit injury violation. The player was banned forever for any international taekwondo competitions. A bronze medal winner for men’s 84kg Greco Roman wrestling left his medal on the floor as a sign of his protest as he believed that he even deserved a better place on the awarding positions. Due to his action, International Olympic Committee stripped off his medal and disqualified him from Olympics. Norway versus South Korea on the semifinals of a handball event, Norway made a goal on the last second of the last quarter giving them the opportunity to play for the gold medal, but pictures of that last second goal leaked on the internet giving ideas to the audience that the ball did not cross the line before time is out.

2006 Turin Winter Olympics

  • A silver medal winner for biathlete individual race from Russia Olga Medvedtseva was proven positive on her drug test, forcing the Olympics committee to strip off her medal and banned her from any competition for two years. The place in the Olympic village where members of the Biathlon team from Austria was raided by the Italian police to investigate further of alleged use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. The use of these kinds of drugs to develop more performance is actually prohibited and considered unlawful and against sports ethics by most of the international for organizations sports and International Olympic Committee is not exempted. There is actually no report whether the allegation is proven or not.

2004 Athens Summer Olympics

  • In men’s marathon’s event, Vanderlei de Lima, a Brazilian runner was about to reach the finish line but from a distant, he was attacked by a priest from Ireland and brought him to the crowd, but due to his eagerness to finish the race, he was able to escape making end up in second place. During the awarding ceremony, he was surprised because he was awarded a special citation of Pierre de Coubertin medal for his conviction and sportsmanship.
    In men’s volleyball event, it was Greece and US in the final match of the final game, when the US is serving the ball, there someone from the audience who blown the whistle making the team from Greece to loosen their defenses, in effect, the US won the tournament and Greek Volleyball team made a protest but nothing happened with the appeal. Italy’s fencing team won the gold over China in men’s team foil, but it was proven that the judge from Hungary committed six errors in judging making the fencing officials suspend him for two years.
    Gymnast player Paul Hamm from the United States had grabbed the gold medal in the all-around competition for men. But his victory was questioned when later the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) discovered that judges mistakenly given the third placer a score of 9.9 instead of 10.0 in the parallel bars portion of the all-around event final. These discrepancies although very small can actually enough to affect and move the third placer into the gold podium. The three judges were suspended but the result remains unchanged making the bronze medalist file a complaint and demand for the gold medal. But again it was not heard.

2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics

  • This is actually one of the most controversial Winter Olympics as the involved in the scandal are not anyone from the sports events, not athletes, not one of the judges or not any questionable decision for the results. Some International Olympic Committee members were forced to be eliminated on the membership because it was discovered that they had accepted gifts and payments for voting the city to hold the Winter Olympics. Another conspiracy happened when gold medals were awarded to two pairs of figure skating players. Reports say that the alleged conspiracy happened between the two pair awardees and the judges. On this time also, Kim Dong Sun, a South Korean speed skater did a short cut on the race by cross-tracking in the final turn on the speed skating race. He was disqualified due to the incident and the gold medal was awarded to the speed skater from the United States.

2000 Sydney Summer Olympics

  • A lot of scandals and controversies involving performance enhancing drugs are discovered during the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. One of which was Marion Jones of the United States who won 5 medals on different sprint contests. But after a thorough investigation, Jones admitted to the court that she used performance enhancing drugs during the competitions. She also told the court that she was with her team mates relay that are using the drug, and so both of their Olympic medals were stripped off. Another case of athlete using drug was Andreea Raducan of Rome; her gold medal was stripped off and awarded to the second place of the event who happened to be her team mate also. Her other medals were retained to her as it was proven that it was not really her fault, she was given a medicine by a Romanian Olympic doctor for cure her fever. The doctor was suspended due to the incident.

1998 Nagano Winter Olympics

  • This event in Japan had no major controversy that takes place during the event itself but, there is one incident after the 1998 Winter Olympics that nearly shocked the world of sports particularly the field of ice dancing in the Olympics. One judge of the said event had recorded another judge trying to fix the result of the contest. Right after the incident, one of the members of the International Olympic Committee, Dick Pound made an announcement that this category should not be included on the Winter Olympics until the judges had cleared up their names. Olympic authorities had stripped off gold medal from Ross Rebagliati after discovering that the Olympian is positive on marijuana during the contest. His gold medal was turned back to him though after a few days.

1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics

  • 1996 Summer Olympics which was held in Atlanta, United States could be considered as the cleanest when it comes to decision, playing and processes of the game as no scandal or controversy had been reported except for one major problem. The Centennial Olympic Park from where many events would take place was bombed by terrorists. July 27, 1996 during the 1996 Summer Olympics, 1 reported death and 111 were reported injured. It was actually one of the four bomb attack by Eric Robert Rudolph.

1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics

  • Nancy Kerrigan versus Tonya Harding both from the United States competed for figure skating. It ended up with Kerrigan winning the second place while the other player got nothing. Harding winning nothing was banned both for competing and becoming a coach because it was discovered that her ex-husband planned for an attack for Kerrigan.

1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics

  • A weightlifter Olympian from Russia was protested to be disqualified because he refused to acknowledge his bronze medal. And due to this protests, he was banned to join any competition all his life.

1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics

  • It was 1980 Winter Olympics China decided to boycott the event due to the fact that the republic of China did not want to participate with Chinese Taipei as its name. It was also on this event that the Olympic dormitory facilities were planned to be converted into a state prison.

1988 Seoul Summer Olympics

  • A lot of nations did not join the 1988 Seoul Olympics such as the North Korea, Albania, Cuba, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Seychelles and Nicaragua probably because of the host city. But the reason behind the boycott was not clearly defined. It was this event also when one of the most controversial results in a boxing competition was made. The match between Park Si-Hun of South Korea and Roy Jones of the United States during the final match was resulted to a questionable decision. Park won the gold but apologized to Jones for the wrong decision.
    The three judges were proven bought by some South Korean officials and therefore get suspension. A referee who was a local of New Zealand was attacked by some of the officials of the Korean boxing team including some security guards and coaches, this is due to the referee’s decision that Bulgaria won over a boxer of South Korea. Another controversy arisen when the Olympic officials stripped off Ben Johnson’s gold medal because he was discovered positive for the banned drugs.

1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics

  • 1976 Winter Olympics was supposed to be on Denver, Colorado but due to many reasons and unavoidable circumstances, 1976 Winter Olympics was relocated to Innsbruck Austria.

1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics

  • The Games of the New Emerging Forces was the event that was organized to confront or to compete with the Olympic Games. Nations that joined this event on 1963 were banned to join the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo Japan. In this connection, Indonesia where GANEFO was originated and North Korea who joined the event were banned by the International Olympic Committee to join the 1964 Summer Olympics. On this Summer Olympics, South Africa was also suspended because of the racial discrimination policy that the South Africa implemented during the event.
Edited by Henrik Jørgensen
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