Five Most Controversial Cases in Olympics History 

In this article, we will take a look at the top five most controversial cases in Olympics history that have raised massive speculations.

While the Olympic Games is revered as one of the most prestigious and commemorated events in sports history, garnering active participation from over two hundred countries, there also exists an unexplored dark side to the story of the Olympic Games. The illustrious and rich historical past of the Olympic Games has also witnessed repugnant scandals and fuming controversies impacting the stature of the format to a large extent. From countries boycotting the games due to political protests to disgraceful instances of racial discrimination, the Olympic Games have witnessed major turbulence over the years. Furthermore, the Olympic Games have also witnessed instances of doping, unfair gestures by athletes and biased decisions by referees. 

The 2022 Beijing Olympics: China’s Human Right Issues 

The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China faced brutal criticism during the bidding period from numerous participating countries, like the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Although Oslo, Norway initially proposed to be a host country, it later dropped out, leaving Beijing and Almaty as the only two remaining options in hand. China faced brutal criticism for being the host country for its ongoing human rights issues surrounding the persecution of Uyghur Muslims in 2022. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Lithuania decided to withdraw their decision to send government representatives to the Olympics and adopted a diplomatic boycott. With Oslo, Norway’s last-minute withdrawal, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China witnessed the second most dramatic bid withdrawal instances after the 1976 Winter Olympics where Denver made the end-moment withdrawal.

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The 2014 Winter Olympics: South Ossetia War 

The host, Sochi, Russia, faced a merciless backlash from Georgia for its involvement in the 2008 South Ossetia War which ultimately led to a drastic diplomatic crisis between Russia and Georgia. While Georgia was already rebelling against the host country, Russia, many other countries and global organizations including Human Rights Watch, brutally slammed Russia for its inhuman and homophobic laws and the unjustified oppression of homosexuals. Numerous corruption allegations and accusations against the host country blew up the budget tremendously from $12 billion to $51 billion. Additionally, many Russian athletes were accused and proven guilty of being involved in doping scandals, which contributed to a major violation of the Olympic rules. As a consequence of being involved in unethical and banned doping practices, many Russian athletes were disqualified and a total of thirteen Russian medals were scrapped, making it one of the biggest controversial seasons in the history of the Olympics. 

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The 2006 Winter Olympics: Doping Charges and Raids  

The 2006 Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy raised numerous speculations about the fairness and integrity of the Olympic Games. The 2006 Winter Olympics witnessed the most bizarre doping scandals with a larger number of athletes being actively involved in it. The dark side of the Olympic Games was exposed at an international level when the Italian authorities took complete charge and raided the residences of the Austrian Biathlon team, raising fuming anger among players and fans about privacy concerns. While the Italian authorities were being criticized for invading athletes’ privacy, Olga Medvedtseva, a Russian biathlon athlete, tested positive for drugs, highlighting Russia’s involvement in the doping scandal. Medvedtseva, as a consequence, ended up losing her silver medal and was served with a two-year ban from representing Russia at any competitive tournament.

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The 2002 Winter Olympics: Biased Verdict from the Judges 

The pairs figure skating controversy at the 2002 Winter Olympics garnered a lot of attention from Olympic viewers for all the wrong reasons. The Canadian pair Jamie Salé and David Pelletier and the Russian pair Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze were both honored with the Olympic gold medal, which was considered to be a biased move of the judges to assist the Russian country to rank higher in the ongoing Olympic season. In addition, the 2002 Winter Olympics was also a focal point of controversies due to the unfortunate doping scandals. Three Russian cross-country skiers, including Olga Danilova, Larissa Lazutina and Spaniard Johann Muhlegg tested positive in a drug test for using a banned substance, darbepoetin. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) conducted a probe into the matter and directed to withdraw the medals won by athletes who tested positive in the drug test.

1998 Winter Olympics: Tape Records and Marijuana 

The 1998 Winter Olympics held in Nagano, Japan is often criticized for being one of the most unethical, biased and fraudulent seasons in the history of the Olympic Games. The sport of ice dancing suffered a major blow after a judge was accused of tape-recording another judge to fiddle with the results. After the appalling instance came under scrutiny, Dick Pound, a highly credible official from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), strongly suggested terminating ice dancing from the list of Olympic sports until the rules and regulations for an unbiased judgment were passed. Additionally, Ross Rebagliati, a Canadian snowboarder, was initially disqualified for possessing traces of Marijuana in his blood, however, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later decided to reverse the decision, allowing the Canadian snowboarder to represent his country and clinch a gold medal. 

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