Antonio Pettigrew returned his gold medal for the 4x400m relay at the Sydney, Australia Olympics in 2000. He was also subsequently disqualified from the four medals he won at the World Championships from 1997-2001. (Photo by Tony Duffy/Getty Images)
Ben Johnson, sprinter for Canada during most of the 1980s, set the 100m world record at the 1987 World Championship in Athletics and 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. He was disqualified for drug use and lost his Olympic title and both records. (Photo by Tony Duffy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Marion Jones, track and field athlete, won five medals in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia. She forfeited all after admitting in 2007 that she used performance enhancing drugs going as far back as 2000. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
Stephen Alfred, cyclist, was banned for life for refusing to take USADA out-of-competition drug testing in 2008. Alfred had failed drug testing three times prior to the ban. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo Jo) was repeatedly accused of using drugs after setting records in track 100m and 200m in the 1988 Olympics Seoul North, Korea. But after rigorous targeted drug tests, she was found clean and drug free. Flo Jo changed the face of Womens Track and Field, making it sexy and attractive (Photo by Tony Duffy/Getty Images)
Debbie Dunn, sprinter, tested positive for high levels of testosterone and voluntarily removed herself from the London 2012 Olympics. Dunn was selected to be part of the American relay pool. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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London 2012 will be the most aggressive Olympic year in the effort to weed out drug users. The policy will include 150 scientists and 6,000 samples. More than 1,000 people will staff the anti-doping laboratory, with up to 400 samples tested every day for more than 240 prohibited substances. Approximately half of all participants in this years 2012 Olympics will be tested.
Quite a number of Olympic athletes have had their medals stripped from them in the past due to drug use. Some of the more memorable instances of black athletes banned from the Olympics include Marion Jones and Ben Johnson.
Having medals stripped because of drug use takes away from the glory of the win for the individual as well as the team.
Graham Edwards, Paralympic team, told BBC UK “Winning medals is like an addiction,” he said. “Once you have one, you want another.
“It’s my biggest motivation. And knowing you’ve reached the podium because of all the hard work you’ve put in – nine sessions a week, two hours each session, three gym sessions a week for four years – is the greatest feeling.
“I’m confident that everything possible is being done to catch drug cheats at London 2012 and that makes these Games really special.”
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