Watch: Ryan Lochte Fails to Qualify for Upcoming Tokyo Olympics
You don't go 125 years without a few scandals here and there.
While the Olympic Games have long been known for unbelievable athleticism and international competition at the highest level, some years are remembered more for controversy than the sports stars who took home the gold medals.
From entire teams and countries being banned from competing in past years and scandals surrounding individual athletes themselves, the Olympics have set the stage for some of the most memorable controversies in sports history.
Who can forget the Nancy Kerrigan–Tonya Harding ice skating attack that is still inspiring Oscar-winning movies almost 30 years later? Or Ryan Lochte's 2016 Rio de Janeiro wins getting overshadowed after he falsely claimed he and his teammates were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station in Brazil, leading to a 10-month suspension and the loss of his sponsors?
And just recently, sports fans around the world protested promising Olympic hopeful Sha'Carri Richardson getting banned for testing positive for marijuana after the death of her mother.
Scroll through the photo gallery below to relive some of the wildest Olympic scandals in history ahead of this week's Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony on July 23.
Cliff Hawkins/Getty ImagesSha'Carri Richardson Banned for Marijuana
Fans were outraged after runner Sha'Carri Richardson was banned from the U.S. Olympic team in 2021 for testing positive for marijuana, which she claims she smoked after the recent death of her mother. The fan favorite runner first caught eyes across the nation on June 19 when she secured her spot on the U.S. Olympic Team after winning the women's 100-meter dash in Eugene, Oregon.
Richardson's violation via the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code was controversial since she legally smoked in the state of Oregon and many fans argued weed is not a performance enhancing drug.
AP Photo/Paul SancyaOlympic Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar Molests Gymnasts
Former U.S. Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County (Mich.) Circuit Court on Wednesday. Nassar had been accused of molesting numerous young athletes while working with the U.S. gymnastics team and Michigan State University.
Some of the victims cited in the counts were between 13 to 15 years old while others were under the age of 13. U.S. Olympians Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney have all come forward as victims of Nassar's abuse.
After three separate rulings, Nassar was sentenced to over a hundred years in prison in 2018.
Harry How/Getty ImagesRyan Lochte Lies and Says Swimmers Were Held at Gunpoint
In August 2016, the swimmer falsely claimed that he and Team USA swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station in Brazil during the Rio Games. He was admittedly "hammered" at the time, as he'd been celebrating their win; Lochte later confessed he didn't remember all the details of the night. After returning to the Olympic Village, Lochte exaggerated the story to his mom, who later told the media that Lochte had been robbed at gunpoint. He repeated the story on NBC's Today—and before long, his lies got the best of him.
At first, Lochte had told Billy Bush on the Today show, "We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over. They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground—they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn't do anything wrong, so I'm not getting down on the ground."
After the truth came out, Lochte was dropped by his sponsors and a given a 10-month suspension by the U.S.A. Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee.