How many times have we heard about supposedly talented athletes who used drug enhancements to increase their performances at the sports they do. Many fans adored famous athletes and sports figures and then turned wildly against them, after their secrets of using drug enhancements were revealed. Most considered the use of drug enhancements by athletes to be nothing less than cheating, and that they were unworthy of earning the metals, recognition and fame that they did.
By way and large, the most common type of drug that has been used by athletes are steroids. They have been the center point of athletes who found much fame on the playing field, and then lost it all once their secrets were revealed, rocking the sports community. But then again, we’ve been hearing too many of these kinds of stories, that it’s no longer any surprise when we hear about a famous athlete who used drug enhancements.
In terms of the sport, baseball has long been the center of athletes for using drug enhancements. This is not to decry the sport of baseball at all, but it’s no secret that many famous baseball athletes and superstars have lost all the reputation that they had previously built.
We are going to take a look at just a handful of the most shocking stories about athletes who used drug enhancements. These stories rocked the sports world; some athletes were tested positively about their drugs, while others simply admitted to it. They lost the respect of fans, and some even lost respect for the sport altogether. Here are the top ten most shocking stories of athletes who used drug enhancements:
10. Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez is widely considered to be one of the greatest baseball stars of all time…or was. Playing for the New York Yankees, it was eventually exposed in 2013 that A-Rod had been using steroids throughout his career. This led him to be suspended from over two hundred baseball games, which is currently the longest non-lifetime ban in the history of baseball.
9. Floyd Landis
Floyd Landis worked for seven years as a professional cyclist, and gained worldwide attention when he won the Tour de France in 2006. His victory was surprising to many, as he was considered to be a dark horse, meaning that he was relatively unknown and not considered to be in the same league as the front-runners. Landis won the 2006 tour after the two cyclists in front of him were forced to withdraw. But Landis’ victory was short lived, as it was later discovered, that a urine test he took came back with high levels of hormone testosterone and hormone epitestosterone levels. The International Cycling Union subsequently voted to ban Landis from professional cycling, for a period of two years.
8. Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun, who played as a fielder and third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers, failed a testosterone test in 2011. Two years later, in 2013, he was promptly banned from baseball for over a year. The news came as a shock to many, as they did not expect Braun to be one who would cheat. To make matters worst, The Daily News reported that the testosterone levels found in Braun’s urine were exceptionally high. He has been heavily missed by fans of the Brewers during his absence.
7. Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens’ steroid use came of note when Jose Canseco published a book entitled, Juiced, where he called out Clemens as being one of the baseball players who had extensive knowledge of steroids. As Clemens’ performance in the New York Yankees increased dramatically, Canseco began to assume that Clemens could have been taking steroids himself. Clemens immediately denied it, but the rumors continued to persist. Finally, New York Yankees trainer, Brian McNamee came clean and said that he had injected Clemens with Winstrol throughout the later part of his career. Clemens pleaded not guilty in Congress, but he was instead convicted of perjury and on six accounts of felony.
6. Shawne Merriman
Shawne Merriman served as a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. He quickly gained a reputation for being one of the top linebackers of all time, but in 2006, it was discovered that he had taken steroids. He was promptly banned from the NFL for four seasons, but in 2012, Merriman decided against returning to the field and retired for good.
5. Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson was a Canadian sprinter at the Olympics who gained notice in 1984 and 1988, when he competed at the Los Angeles and Seoul Olympics respectively. Johnson ran the one hundred meter relay very quickly, earning him two bronze medals and a gold medal. But mere days after winning his gold medal, drug tests were conducted on Johnson and it was revealed that he had been taking performance enhancers for some time. As a result, his records and medals were stripped away.
4. Rafael Palmeiro
As with Roger Clemens, the investigation into Rafael Palmeiro’s drug enhancement use was due to Jose Canseco’s book. Canseco claimed that he had personally injected Palmeiro with steroids. Palmeiro appeared before Congress in 2005 and defended himself against the allegations while under oath, denying that he had ever used steroids or any drug enhancements. Unfortunately, a subsequent drug test proved otherwise and showed that Palmeiro had been taking stanozolol for some time. Despite being banned from baseball, Palmeiro continues to deny the accusations to this very day.
3. Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds is widely regarded to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time, but in 2007, he was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice, for lying about taking drug enhancements. This upset numerous fans who had not only considered Bonds to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time, but one of the greatest athletes as well. Perhaps at a time he was, but it’s still greatly disappointing to see one of the greatest and most popular athletes turn to cheating in order to enhance his career.
2. Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit was a two time world heavyweight champion in wrestling, and had competed in the ECW, WCW and WWE. Unfortunately, the bodies of Benoit, his wife and son were discovered in the summer of 2007. The police came to the conclusion that Benoit had murdered his wife and son before turning the weapon on himself. An autopsy of Benoit’s body found that he had been taking drug enhancements for some time, specifically elevated levels of testosterone.
It is currently unknown if that was a factor in leading him to tragically murder himself and his family, but we do know that it definitely increased his performance in the ring. Later on, further investigations into Benoit’s body discovered that years of fighting in the ring had dealt severe trauma to his brain and had suffered from multiple concussions. Most of the police and investigators now equate Benoit’s actions with these head injuries.
1. Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong was without a doubt, one of the most inspirational athletes of all time. The fans could relate to him as a cancer survivor, but they were also impressed by him famously ‘winning’ the Tour de France seven times. Unfortunately, tests conducted on Armstrong revealed that he had been using performance enhancing drugs throughout his career, despite Armstrong repeatedly denying the accusations. He was promptly stripped of all seven of his Tour de France medals and not only lost tens of millions of dollars, but the respect of the majority of his fans as well.