Sportsmen are required to undergo stringent tests before competing at the international level. These tests determine if the athlete is under the influence of a substance that ought not to be used, recreational or performance-enhancing. Here are 13 Sports-Giants who were caught under the influence of banned drugs!
1. Michael Phelps
The most decorated Olympian ever was banned in 2014 for six months due to DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs). He also retired from professional swimming and went to rehab for his alcohol abuse problem, though he returned to compete in the 2016 Olympics.
2. Lance Armstrong
The most famous name in Cycling, Lance Armstrong confessed that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win all of his 7 Tour-De-France titles, and was stripped off all his wins.
3. Shane Warne
Australian spin legend Shane Warne tested positive for a banned diuretic in 2003, before the World Cup.
4. Vince McMahon
The WWE mogul is said to love cocaine! He was once heard saying "I can snort as much of that stuff as anyone can put in front of me and never get hooked."
5. Hulk Hogan
One of the well-known performers of WWE (then WWF) was Hulk Hogan. He has admitted his addiction to cocaine and steroids in the past, with his ex-wife also claiming the same. This ended his wrestling and movie careers.
6. Martina Hingis
The then Tennis superstar, was caught with cocaine in her body in the 2007 Wimbledon championship, was banned for two years. She then retired from the game and again returned in 2013.
7. Maria Sharapova
This Russian hotty who set the Tennis court ablaze whenever she set foot, is undergoing a trial for meladonium-abuse from the past ten years, although the drug was banned only recently.
8. Andre Agassi
Another Tennis star who accepted that he was on some hard drugs was Andre Agassi. In his autobiography, Open, he has confessed that he took crystal meth throughout his career!
9. Asafa Powell
The fastest sprinter (100m), until Usain Bolt usurped him in 2013, tested positive for a banned stimulant before the Jamaica Championship and was removed.
10. Pradeep Sangwan
The once Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders bowler in the IPL, was tested positive for a banned steroid Stanozolol and was banned.
11. Hope Solo
This American Goalie, who has helped her team bag 2 Olympic golds and the 2015 Fifa Cup, was caught with a banned substance, canrenone, in her system. She said that it was prescribed by her doctors for the premenstrual treatment.
12. Shoaib Akhtar & Mohammad Asif
Shoaib & Asif, Pakistani speedsters tested positive for performance-enhancing drug nandrolone during the Sri Lanks series in 2006. They were then tried and appropriate measures were taken.
13. Diego Maradona
The Argentine football legend was plagued with cocaine addiction! Failing several tests and facing many bans and fines across his colorful career