For as long as there have been sports, there have been athletes who are dominant in those particular sports. In the present day, this is no different and each sport has their list of dominant players and athletes.
However, what is different today, which wasn’t around in the past, is the drug test. Each league and sport has their own policy and rules for what is allowed and what is not allowed. And to ensure that their players/athletes are obeying the rules, they test the athletes and make sure there are no banned substances in their systems. Athletes have been using whatever advantage they can to get ahead for years, but only recently have they began vigorously testing for these advantages.
Some athletes we expect to be using or have used drugs by their physiques or performance, but others are very surprising for a number of reasons. Some of the athletes on this list denied steroid use and then tested positive, others failed tests at inopportune times and others simply were never expected to fail a drug test in the way they did.
Whatever the reason, excuse or justifications, these 15 athletes have had some of the most shocking drug test results in sports history.
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15 Marion Jones
Marion Jones is a former sprinter for the US Olympic team and is one of the most dominant female athletes of all time. She is a five time Olympic medalist and had been saddled with doping allegations for years, despite never failing a test. That is, until a failed drug test in 2006 occurred, according to The Washington Post. Jones tested positive for EPO, was stripped of her medals, and has had trouble with the law since then. It really is quite a shame that arguably the most dominant Olympic athlete of the early 2000s was a cheater.
14 Justin Gatlin
Gatlin is another sprinter for the US Olympic team and was once the record holder for the coveted 100M sprint world record. After his failed drug test in April of 2006 for using PEDs, he immediately denied ever taking any PEDs, though this was his second offense. However, a few months later, he admitted to using PEDs, which led him to be banned from competition until 2010. He didn't get banned for life, as he chose to come clean and comply with the authorities. Though he is back and competing (and winning) around the world, he will find it hard to ever lose the label of a cheater.
13 Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen was involved in one of the most surprising fights in UFC history, as at UFC 117, Sonnen challenged one of the best fighters of all time, Anderson Silva. Leading up to the fight, Sonnen talked a ton of trash and backed it up, as he was beating up Silva for the entire fight until losing via submission in the final few minutes. It was all too good to be true for Sonnen, as he failed a drug test, a test that showed he had an incredibly high level of testosterone, which they believe to be a huge indication of PED use. He claimed it was prescribed by a doctor, but they claimed he didn't adequately disclose that before the testing.
12 Ben Johnson
At the 1988 Summer Olympics, the athletic world was buzzing about a 100m sprint between Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis. They were both at the top of the game, while there was also plenty of trash talk between the two, which included Lewis stating that Johnson was using steroids. Johnson ended up winning the showdown and setting a new world record in the process, but Lewis would ultimately get the last laugh within hours, as Johnson shockingly tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid, a test that not only embarrassed him, but Canada as a whole.
11 Chris Andersen
Chris Andersen is a currently with the Miami Heat, but his problems began back as a member of the New Orleans Hornets. Andersen was a high flying big man capable of big blocks and big dunks. In one of the most shocking test failures in NBA history, Andersen tested positive for a “drug of abuse,” in which his punishment was disqualification from the NBA, according to ESPN. A “drug of abuse” according to the NBA, is either methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, opiates, including heroin, codeine and morphine and PCP. He was eventually reinstated to the NBA and has turned his life around significantly.
10 Josh Gordon
Now, this is one of the saddest spots on this list. Josh Gordon is one of the most talented WRs in the NFL but foolish mistakes seem to be holding him back. In early 2015, after already failing multiple drug tests in his past, Gordon failed another (this time for drinking alcohol - which he wasn't permitted to do after his DUI), which subsequently led to him being suspended for an entire season without pay. Not to pile onto the troubled Gordon, but he's throwing away a once in a million opportunity with childish decisions.
9 Tyson Gay
Tyson Gay, who runs sprints and the relay for the US Mens Olympic Track and Field team, is perhaps known best for his great races with Usain Bolt. In fact, Gay is the second fastest man on the planet behind Bolt. In 2014, however, it appeared he was getting some help. Gay tested positive for an anabolic steroid, was forced to return his 2012 Summer Olympics Silver Medal and was banned from competition for a year, according to The Telegraph. It really is crazy how all of these sprinters are using PEDs and STILL can’t beat Bolt.
8 Diego Maradona
We’re going a bit deeper into the history books, as we look at Argentinian great Diego Maradona. Maradona is one of the best players in world football history, but he's just as famous for his off field antics and suspected recreational drug use. He played in numerous World Cups and won in 1986, but, in 1994, Maradona surprised everyone when he failed a drug test for five different variants of ephedrine and was sent home from the World Cup.
7 Randy Gregory
This one is fairly recent, as Gregory failed his test only a few short months ago. Randy Gregory was a very talented Defensive End out of Nebraska, who was thought of to be a top 10 pick. However, Gregory failed his NFL scouting combine drug test. This was extremely surprising, as that is probably the worst time any NFL player can fail a test. Gregory ultimately slipped way down in the draft and was eventually picked 60th overall, losing millions in the process.
6 Dustin Johnson
One of the last sports you'd expect see on this list is golf, but that's what made this test result so shocking. Dustin Johnson is a former #4 golfer in the world and has won numerous tournaments, but he shocked the golf world in 2014 when he was suspended six months for testing positive for cocaine, according to Golf.com. It was also revealed that he had previously failed two other drug tests, one time for marijuana and another time for cocaine.
5 Floyd Landis
Floyd Landis was one of the best cyclists in the world and reached the pinnacle of the sport when he won the 2006 Tour de France. Landis was on top of the world, but would soon come crashing down when it was revealed that he had tested positive for PEDs. He would be stripped of his Tour de France title, but still wouldn't admit to using PEDs. That is, until 2010, when he admitted that he and many other riders, including Lance Armstrong, had been doping for years.
4 Todd Marinovich
Todd Marinovich was bred from the time he was a child to be the perfect quarterback. His father pressured him into working day and night, and eventually it paid off as he was taken in the first round. However, he would be a huge bust because of his drug use that dated back to college. It all culminated with him failing multiple drug tests in his two year stint in the NFL and it was also revealed he regularly took amphetamines before games as well, which shocked NFL circles.
3 Jon Jones
Jon Jones was the Light Heavyweight Champion of the world and the top pound for pound fighter on the planet, and it could be argued that he hadn't reached his prime yet. He was an unbelievable talent and looked like he would never be beaten. Unfortunately for him, he beat himself with a failed drug test for cocaine in early 2015 which shocked MMA fans around the world. He entered rehab, though it diesn't seem to have worked, as he was recently involved in a hit and run, which saw him stripped of his title and suspended indefinitely.
2 Wes Welker
This one was a true shock. Wes Welker is a talented slot receiver who has been one of the most reliable players in recent years. He enjoyed most of his success with the Patriots, but has been good with the Broncos as well. However, the Broncos and the entire NFL got a huge shock in 2014 when it was revealed Welker failed a drug test and was suspended for 4 games. He failed the test when he took ecstasy that was laced with amphetamines at the Kentucky Derby. Yeah, you read that right.
1 Anderson Silva
The most shocking athlete drug test failure is that of MMA superstar, Anderson Silva. Silva is likely the best mixed martial artist who ever walked the earth and he dominated during his time in the UFC. After a devastating injury put him out for a chunk of time, his return fight was very highly anticipated and he managed to win it. What happened next shocked the world of sports. The legendary Anderson Silva failed a couple of drug tests for PEDs which led to his suspension and the possibility that he may never fight again. It’s yet to be seen how this will affect his legacy long-term, but it won’t be good.
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