The 7 Most Hilarious Disqualifications in Olympic History

    June 21, 2012 at 6:30 am

    People wonder why their is such a burst of steroid use at the Olympics. After all, if it devolves into a competition of who produces the best performance enhancement drugs, the U.S. military alone probably has enough tricks to keep every gold metal on home soil. The answer to this puzzle of Olympic cheating dates back centuries, when fines against Olympic cheaters had a specific word (zanes). To inspire us to keep our eyes peeled while watching the Olympics (and not just to see if bird call trolling becomes a fad), we found 7 hilarious cases of people caught cheating at the Olympic Games:

    1. Boris Onishchenko

    In 1976, the Olympics held something called a “Modern Pentathlon.” The events consisted of running, swimming, jumping over stuff on a horse, swordfighting, and shooting a gun.


    “Modern” according to the Olympics

    For some reason, a two-time Olympic medalist Soviet decided that it would be important to cheat. This underscores the Cold War mentality of “win at all costs, especially if it’s something kinda stupid.”

    Boris Onischenko’s sport of choice for cheating was swordfighting (also called “fencing” by people who have never stolen a stereo). It seems that, to win at fencing one has to push their sword into their opponent hard enough for a little light to go off in the sword. So Boris designed a sword with a switch he could toggle to turn its light on and off at will.

    This ruse was doomed to fail from the start. First of all, you have to push with some pressure to get that sword’s light to come off. When Onishchenko’s opponent didn’t feel “stabbed enough,” he immediately called foul. The judges inspected the tampered instrument while, ironically, Boris won the match with a replacement sword (or “foil”) before being disqualified (or “foiled”). His pentathlon cheat was certainly interesting; we would have gone with “wait until the pistol firing round, then hold up the medal-awarding judge for all his golds.”

    2. Fred Lorz

    In 1904, the Olympic Marathon included a spunky young runner named Fred Lorz. Lorz dragged his ass along the race for nine miles, then proceeded to cheat it off.

    He hopped into his manager’s car and began to drive along the course. After about 11 miles, the manager’s car broke down (since it was 1904 we assume this means it just broke).

    Spectators got angry; they began to claim that Lorz had been seen riding in a car earlier

    Come on: It’s a car in 1904, everyone’s going to look

    Lorz recanted, claiming the whole thing was just a big joke. This marks the first time in history someone has tried to deflect derision by using the “dance, puppets” defense.

    3. Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall

    The 1968 Olympic Pentathlon saw the Swedish team earn a medal. However, the award had to be returned when Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a Swede (duh), tested positive for drugs. His DQ drug? Beer. After testing positive for alcohol, Liljenwall said he had a few beers to help calm him during the pisol shooting copetition.

    Because if there’s anything that makes firing a gun safer and more accurate, it’s being drunk

    Interestingly, 14 athletes tested positive for tranquilizers, but were not disqualified because tranquilizers were legal at the time. 1968 was truly a hippie drugfest (BYOB, apparently).

    4. Angel Matos

    In all the decades of people trying to forcibly coerce Olympic judges, only one has attempted to do this after the match. Angel Matos was a Cuban kickboxer in the 2008 Olympics. While fighting some other kickboxer, Matos fell to the mat with an injury. He got back to his feet, but was disqualified for taking too long. After unsuccessfully pleading with the referee, Matos delivered a kick to the referee’s face, a clear violation of international rules. In the relatively mild fracas which ensued, Matos also tried to punch another referee in the head for no real reason:

    5. Arash Miresmaili

    Some people protest perceived injustice by going on a hunger strike. But that really only works in first world nations where most people aren’t starving to death already. So when Iranian Judo figter Arash Miresmaili learned that the International Olympic Committee had recognized the state of Israel, he allegedly started packing on the poundss in protest.

    E Honda made a similar protest against the Street Fighter Committee’s decision to allow Brazilian Electric Half-monsters into the World Warrior Tournament

    Though Olympic officials repeatedly insisted they had nothing to do with the creation of the state of Israel, Miresmaili weighed in for his match too heavy, and was disqualified.

    6. Karl Schranz

    It was a blustery day in the 1968 Winter Olympics, when Karl Schranz attempted to take a gold medal in alpine skiing. However, after finishing his race Schranz claims someone jumped out in front of him during the race.

    This guy. It was this guy.

    To be fair, we can’t be exactly sure who was guilty of cheating here. Sure, Schranz story sounds fishy, but it wouldn’t be unheard of for an official to sneak onto the racetrack and mess with his race. Either way, we have absolutely no idea how Olympic events were ever held without complete camera coverage. We suspect the ancient marathons devolved into fistfights once the competitors were out of sight.

    7. Dorando Pietri

    The Marathon of the 1908 London Olympics stretched the distance of the run by several hundred yards, to the length which has now become standard. This was to allow the race to finish in front of the Royal Box at London, because British people will never figure out how silly they look blindly worshipping an appointed leader like a rock star.

    No one really suspected the small bit of additional distance would matter. But when Dorando Pietri burst into the stadium in first place, then collapsed in sight of the Royal Box, people realized that it did matter. So, how did impartial, even-minded judges deal with the situation?

    They rushed out and helped him to his feet. The second place finisher raised such a protest that Dorando was eventually disqualified, for help from the judges he never asked for.

    Who will get disqualified from this year’s Olympics? Our bet is that Usain Bolt punches Michael Phelps after Phelps keeps pestering him for marijuana.

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