7 worst doping excuses

  • 16/06/2015

Doping: sport's dark secret. Some who are caught own up to it and accept their punishment, while others deny, deny, deny.

And, with their livelihoods on the line, some of the excuses for those who don't want to face the music can be pretty outlandish.

In the wake of the South Korean footballer blaming his latest doping scandal on a moustache-growing cream, here's seven of the worst.

Dennis Mitchell

The drug: Testosterone

The claim: I had too much sex with my wife.

Creativity: 4/10

Believability: 3/10

The story goes: Mitchell said he had sex with his wife four times on the day of the drugs test because it was her birthday. While sex can raise your testosterone levels, it can't boost it as much as Mitchell was caught with.

In his words: "The lady deserved a treat."

The ban: The relay gold medallist was banned for two years by the IAAF in 1998 and was subsequently disqualified from the 2001 World Championships because of his involvement in the BALCO scandal.

Richard Gasquet

The drug: Cocaine

The claim: I inadvertently took cocaine by kissing a woman in a nightclub.

Creativity: 5/10

Believability: 8/10

The story goes: Gasquet was found with cocaine in his urine sample after kissing a girl identified only as 'Pamela' in a Miami nightclub.

In his (lawyer's) words: It was only "a grain of salt".

The ban: Only two-and-a-half months thanks to the tiny amount of cocaine found in the sample, but Gasquet was warned he would be banned for life if it was to happen again.

Daniel Plaza

The drug: Nandrolone

The claim: I performed oral sex on my pregnant wife.

Creativity: 6/10

Believability: 2/10

The story goes: Pretty self-explanatory…

In his words: "Something strange is happening and I don't know what it is."

The ban: His two-year ban was overturned by Spain's Supreme Court.

LaShawn Merritt

The drugs: Dehydroepiandrosterone and Pregnenolone

The claim: I didn't read the small print on my penis enlargement product.

Creativity: 0/10

Believability: 10/10 (because it was true)

The story goes: Merritt used to routinely by juice and a lottery ticket from a local convenience store before returning to buy condoms and over-the-counter penis enhancement product ExtenZe. He didn't want to come clean in fear of embarrassment.

In his words: "[It was a] foolish, immature and egotistical mistake...any penalty I may receive for my action will not overshadow the embarrassment and humiliation I feel."

The ban: Initially banned for two years, it was reduced to 21 months and he was able to compete at the London 2012 Olympics.

Javier Sotomayor

The drugs: Cocaine

The claim: I was set up by the mafia

Creativity: 10/10

Believability: 6/10

The story goes: When Sotomayor tested positive for cocaine at the Pan-American Games in 1999, Cuban national newspaper Granma leapt to his defence saying the high-jumper had his food or drink spiked by the CIA or anti-Castro mafia.

Fidel Castro even got involved, blaming the Cuban-American mafia.

In his words: "I know that every time there is a doping case, everyone generally says they are innocent, but in my case I really am innocent."

The ban: The world record holder tested positive in 1999, but had his two-year ban so he could compete at the Sydney Olympics.

After testing positive for Nandrolone a year later, Sotomayor quit athletics.

Shane Warne

The drugs: Diuretic

The claim: My mum gave me a tablet because I was fat

Creativity: 8/10

Believability: 0/10 (mainly because it's Warnie)

The story goes: Warnie's weight had become a bit of a national interest by 2003 and his mum gave him a fluid tablet to try and get rid of his double-chin as he recovered from a shoulder injury.

The authorities argued the diuretic could have been used as a masking agent.

In his words: "I'd had a couple too many bottles of wine and had a few late nights. I took a fluid tablet then. It was to get rid of a double-chin."

The ban: Warne was stood down from the 2003 Cricket World Cup, which Australia went on to win, and served a 12-month suspension.

Tyler Hamilton

The drug: Blood doping

The claim: An unborn twin gave me two types of blood.

Creativity: 12/10

Believability: 1/10 (but also 10/10 because, really, what do we know about blood?)

The story goes: Hamilton was dogged by blood doping scandals throughout his career, and said he was found with two types of blood because he absorbed his twin which died in his mother's womb, a phenomenon known as chimerism.

In his words: "I was grasping for anything at the time."

The ban: A two-year suspension following the Vuelta a Espana.

It should be noted, the Tour de France cyclist and Olympic medallist has since helped uncover Lance Armstrong's network of extensive doping.

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