Excuses for failing a doping test: 'It was the dodgy toothpaste'
Emily Dugan is social affairs correspondent for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday. She was previously a news reporter for The Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards.
Sunday 17 June 2012
Tampered toothpaste, sexual enhancement drugs, and massage cream are just some of the unusual excuses for failing an Olympic drugs test revealed in a book out this week.
The Book of Olympic Lists pulls together little-known facts from across the Games' history, including a chapter on the "Seven Most Creative Excuses for Failing a Doping Test".
Spanish 20km walker Daniel Plaza had the most bizarre excuse of all in 1996, when he claimed that having oral sex with his pregnant wife was the reason for a positive steroid test. Nandrolone is produced naturally by pregnant women.
Two years after her Olympic victory in the women's heavyweight judo at Beijing, Chinese judoka Tong Wen tested positive for clenbuterol – a result she blamed on eating too many pork chops, which are sometimes treated with the steroid to keep the meat lean.
Other facts compiled in the book include the six athletes whose names destined them for their sports – featuring British swimmers Walter Bathe and Lewis Moist, and the American high jumper Nathan Leeper.
A chapter on the five Olympians who used their sport skill in real life tells the story of Summer Paine, an American pistol shooter who, two years after winning a gold medal in 1896, was jailed for shooting at a man he found with his wife.
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