To compete at the Olympic level in any sport means not only meeting lofty expectations, but also being held to the highest level of sportsmanship.
For this reason, this week’s doping revelations surrounding American track star Tyson Gay and two top Jamaican sprinters are all the more disappointing.
Sadly, although Gay and company’s drug tests came months after the 2012 Olympics ended, cheating is cheating. Even if, as Gay put it in a teary interview, he made the mistake of putting his trust in the wrong person, his stellar performance this year is now tainted, and any future retrospective on his career will contain the dreaded word “doping.”
As has happened for Gay, the pressure to perform has caused many top Olympians to crack or otherwise lose sight of what it means to compete fairly and cleanly.
This hall of shame runs the gamut, from infamous dopers like Jones and Johnson, to sophisticated cheats like the Russian pentathlete Boris Onishchenko, who won fencing matches with a cleverly rigged sword.
There are also some questionable inclusions on this list: Is anyone really shocked or upset that an Olympic snowboarder smoked pot? Did beer really enhance one athlete’s performance in a shooting match?
And that's not something to be proud of.