In the news: USA Olympic Judo Athlete Fails Drug Test

In a shocking U.S Olympic team story, Nicholas Delpopolo (an American Judo Champion) was expelled from the Olympic games after failing a drug test by testing positive for Marijuana. He claims he unknowingly ate food that had the marijuana baked into it before leaving to London. He is the only US Olympian to have tested positive and expelled from the games. He’s also the first to have already competed then found positive for an illegal substance.

Delpopolo apologized to the USOC, his teammates and fans for the alleged mistake. According to the Wall Street Journal Delpopolo has had less than a fairytale childhood. He was born in Montenegro, lived in an orphanage until he was adopted by an American couple and raised in the United States. As a teenager he garnered the reputation of a bad boy and found focus through Judo which helped turn his life around.

Fast-forward to the 2012 Olympic games where he comes in as a medal hopeful and ends up losing in the quarterfinals to Wang Ki-Chun of South Korea. I’m sure the way he felt after that match wasn’t half as bad as how he’s feeling now. I have to say I’m on the fence on this one; in one respect I can see where the stress of competing at such a high level could have driven him to self medicate to relax but then I can see where an Olympian wouldn’t take the risk of being kicked out for doping. I guess we’ll never really know. It happens every single year; many Olympians are found in violation of the Olympic anti-doping rules and barred from the games.

There have been other athletes that have tested positive during the London 2012 games including Russian sprinter and cyclist Victoria Baranova and Colombian sprinter, Diego Palomeque Echavarria. There are many doping controversies involving top Olympians like that of Marion Jones and Lance Armstrong.

Marion Jones won five medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In October of 2007 she came clean about her illegal use of performance enhancing drugs and having lied to a grand jury about it. “At the time of her admission and subsequent guilty plea, Marion Jones was one of the most famous people to be linked to the BALCO Scandal. The case against BALCO covered more than 20 top level athletes including Jones’ ex-husband shot putter C.J. Hunter and the father of Jones’ first child, world record setting sprinter Tim Montgomery”.

Lance Armstrong won 7 straight Tour de France races (1999 -2006). Two months ago the USDA formally charged Armstrong with using performance enhancing drugs, based on blood samples from 2009 and 2010, and testimonies from other cyclists. He has denied the charges and is awaiting trial.

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Sources:

 

http://stream.wsj.com/story/london-olympics-2012/SS-2-13789/SS-2-42262/

http://www.nj.com/olympics/index.ssf/2012/07/new_jerseys_nick_delpopolo_win.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Armstrong

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Jones