Biggest and Weirdest Winter Olympic Scandals

Doping, damaging, and just plain dopes make the list when Winter Olympics go bad.

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VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 18: Scott Lago of United States celebrates his bronze medal during the medal ceremony for the Men�s Halfpipe on day 7 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 18, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Scott Lago
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NBC 5 News
Snowboarder Scotty Lago won a bronze medal in Vancouver and then promptly went home early after risque images of him and his medal appeared on the internet. Don't worry, Scott, these types of PR nightmares are as old as the Winter Games themselves.
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The most enthusiastic Americans have ever been about hockey may have been in 1948. Two U.S. teams showed up in St. Moritz claiming to be the legitimate team. One was allowed to march in the ceremonies while the other played, neither was allowed to medal, and the controversy almost canceled the Games.
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Johann Muehlegg is a one-man scandal band. The German claimed he survived being poisoned by his own ski federation by drinking holy water, was ostracized from the team after Nagano, and defected to Spain in 1999 -- a country he embarrassed by being stripped of all his medals in Utah for doping.
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Wiki Commons
The Fräulein of fraud: Ortrun Enderlein and two of her East German teammates were stripped of their luge placements in 1968 when it was found they had heated the runners on their sleds. Enderlein lost her gold and the silver was given to a West German. BURN!
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Alain Baxter dyed the flag of Scotland into his hair in Turin and angered British officials -- until he won Great Britain's first alpine medal. Then he tested positive for methamphetamine after using a Vick's nasal inhaler and lost his medal despite protests from the International Ski Federation, landing him right back in the doghouse.
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Baxter should have known better after Soviet skier Galina Kulakova was stripped of a cross-country bronze in Innsbruck in 1976 after her nasal spray was found to contain ephedrine. She was allowed to compete in other races, however, and went on to win two other medals.
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The scandal that ate Salt Lake City: After 38 years of Russian domination, Canadians David Pelletier and Jamie Sale were headed for gold when a French figure skating judge was bribed into rigging the scoring for Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaya of Russia. All four were given golds.
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At right: French pairs judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne, the face of figure skating evil. Le Gougne's boost to Russia was given in exchange for similar high marks for a French ice dancing pair, which is funny, because it's ice dancing. The scandal forced a revamp of figure skating's subjective scoring system.
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Bode Miller, the most decorated American alpine skier in history, memorably flamed out in Turin after telling Barbara Walters he skied drunk and making a hard-partying spectacle of himself out and about at the Olympic Village. He didn't earn a single medal... that year.
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"I say, Roger! This nut seems loose...perhaps it is some devilry!" In 1948 in St. Moritz, unknown vandals tampered with the steering mechanisms of the American's bobsleds. The sabotage was discovered just in time, but no one was caught -- which leaves us to lay idle blame.
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How little did the world want to travel to Utah in 2002? So little that the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee allegedly had to bribe International Olympic Committee members. After accusations flew, it was still Games on -- but heads rolled on both committees and the selection process got new rules.
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Ah, the scandal to end all scandals. When Tonya Harding's ex-husband clubbed her rival Nancy Kerrigan before Lillehammer in 1994, their showdown captivated the world. Harding fell, Oksana Baiul won gold, and Kerrigan was never more famous.
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Wiki Commons
A Canadian snowboarder and pot? No way! Ross Rebagliati was stripped of his gold in 1998 after marijuana was discovered in his system. Then it was discovered that marijuana wasn't on the list of banned substances, and given back. Perhaps the people in charge should have been tested.
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Jeret "Speedy" Peterson headed to Turin as an aerials favorite. But after his second jump, Speedy slid from second place to seventh and dealt with the disappointment by getting in a drunken brawl later that night. USA! USA!
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Italian police raided Austria's dorms in 2006 and found a stash of blood-doping equipment. Coach Walter Mayer -- who'd already been banned for doping athletes in Salt Lake City -- fled, drove his car into a barricade, and ended up in a psych ward. Six Austrians were banned for life.
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