Triple Play: Biggest Olympic Scandals - NBC 7 San Diego
London 2012

London 2012

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Triple Play: Biggest Olympic Scandals

A look back at some of the most scandalous Olympic moments.



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    From left: Many questioned whether the Press sisters—Soviet track and field stars in the '60s—were actually men; Members from the 1972 U.S. men's basketball team celebrate their win before refs require two replays that ended in a loss for Team USA at the Munich Games; At the 1968 Mexico City games ceremony, Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall was stripped of his medals for being intoxicated while competing.

    Under Press-ure: In the early 1960s, two East German sisters dominated their competition. In 1960, Irina Press took home gold in 80 m hurdles and tied the world record. Four years later Tamara Press won gold in both the shotput and discus, setting Olympic records in both events. Together the Press sisters won six Olympic medals, five of them gold. Following their impressive Olympic appearances, questions began to circulate about their gender and masculine physiques, and whether they were in fact female. Both Tamara and Irina withdrew from athletic competition in 1966.

    Russian Replay: After the buzzer sounded, the U.S. men's basketball team erupted in celebration over their gold-medal win ... until the referees cited a need to replay the last 50 seconds of the game. The clock ticked down, and again the U.S. men were victorious. But, because of an error in restarting the clock, the teams had to replay the last three seconds of the game. It was those final three seconds that gave the Russians enough time to score one more basket—making them Olympic champions, and leaving Team USA to take home silver.

    Trouble Brew-ing: In 1968 Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall helped lead his team to bronze. But after the competition, the Swedish pentathlon team was stripped of their medals and disqualified, because Liljenwall's drug test came back showing he'd consumed alcohol before the pistol-shooting event of the competition. Liljenwall confessed to having drank two beers before competing. He was the first Olympic athlete ever to be disqualified for drug use following the antidoping measure that went into effect in 1967.