Skip to navigationSkip to content

The sneaky ways athletes try to beat doping tests and the reason why so many are eventually caught

  • Michael Tabb
By Michael Tabb

Video journalist

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Once an Olympic medalist, not always an Olympic medalist.

Within the past week, the International Olympic Committee has stripped more than a dozen athletes of medals they won in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games after new tests on stored samples proved they had cheated. That brings the total number of doping violations between 2008 and 2012 to more than 75.

Many of the athletes were from Russia or nearby countries, and turinabol—an anabolic steroid–was a common drug of choice.

While it may be difficult to keep athletes who dope from competing, as cheaters get more and more sophisticated, retaining samples gives time for technology to catch up. Watch the video above for a more in-depth look at how far athletes around the world have gone to become champions, only to have their honors ripped away years later.

📬 Need to Know: COP26

Your guide to the world's biggest climate summit.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.