Quotations

When athletes are accused of using banned drugs, their explanations can range from the profound to the absurd. Here are some winners.

JUSTIN GATLIN, TRACK AND FIELD
Busted for: Testosterone in 2006
Excuse: The 100-meter co-record holder unwittingly received a testosterone-spiked rubdown from a vindictive masseuse.
Outcome: Eight-year ban

TYLER HAMILTON, CYCLING
Busted for: Blood doping in 2004; blood from someone else found in his system
Excuse: He was a chimera - a person with two distinct genetic cell lines, either from his mother or from a twin fetus he absorbed in utero. Subsequent testing didn't support either claim.
Outcome: Two-year ban

JAVIER SOTOMAYOR, TRACK AND FIELD
Busted for: Cocaine in 1999
Excuse: The Cuban high jumper blamed the Mafia. His government blamed the CIA.
Outcome: One-year ban, stripped of Pan American Games gold medal

JUNSUKE INOUE, BILLIARDS
Busted for: Methyltestosterone in 1998
Excuse: The 58-year-old wasn't taking the stuff to improve his pool game but to keep his cue stiff. "My wife deserved to be satisfied," he said.
Outcome: Two-year ban

PETR KORDA, TENNIS
Busted for: Nandrolone in 1998
Excuse: He ingested it accidentally while dining on steroid-fed veal.
Outcome: One-year ban; testing found that he would have needed to wolf down 40 calves a day for 20 years to account for the levels in his system.

DENNIS MITCHELL, TRACK AND FIELD
Busted for: Testosterone in 1998
Excuses: An evening of frolicking raised the sprinter's level to unnatural heights. The three-time Olympic medalist blamed excessive beer drinking and sex with his wife the night before testing.
Outcome: Two-year ban

DANIEL PLAZA, TRACK AND FIELD
Busted for: Nandrolone in 1996
Excuse: Prolonged oral sex with his pregnant wife caused the race walker to absorb the steroid, which pregnant women may produce naturally.
Outcome: Two-year ban but exonerated in July 2006

ADRI VAN DER POEL, CYCLING
Busted for: Strychnine in 1983
Excuse: His pigeon-racing father-in-law fed him pie made from doped-up birds.
Outcome: Retired in 2000 after an accomplished career


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