August 25, 2012, was a black day in cycling history when the legendary Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and handed a life ban from the game. The cycling world was mortified the moment the inspirational motivator and iconic Armstrong was tagged as a dope taint.
The record seven-time Tour de France winner was banned from the sport for life after refusing to defend drug allegations by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). They also claimed that Armstrong used banned substances, including the blood-booster EPO and steroids. The USADA punished Armstrong by erasing 14 years of his glorious career, declaring that his performances in all professional races from August 1998 would be discounted.
But he is not the first athlete to be stripped of their medals and titles due to dope charges.
A list of some of the renowned athletes who have been stripped of their medals and titles due to doping charges.
Marion Jones is a former world champion track and field athlete – and later former professional basketball player – who won five medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 2007, Jones was stripped of all medals and prizes after she admitted of taking performance-enhancing drugs at the 2000 Games.
Ben Johnson, a former sprinter from Canada, won an Olympic gold and two bronze medals which were subsequently rescinded due to doping. He also set consecutive 100-metre world records at the 1987 World Championships and the 1988 Summer Olympics, but lost his esteemed Olympic title and both records due to doping.
Floyd Landis, a former American cyclist, won the 2006 Tour de France but was stripped of his victory in 2010 due to doping allegations. It was claimed that Landis used synthetic testosterone during the 2006 race. He was also fired from the Phonak team.
Nadzeya Ostapchuk is a basketball player who shifted to shot put. She became an Olympic champion in 2012 but was subsequently stripped of the title for failing a drug test. Her gold medal was awarded to New Zealand's Valerie Adams. Ostapchuk was world Champion in 2005, a bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was the World Indoor and European Champion in 2010.
Antonio Pettigrew was an American sprinter stripped of his gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the 2000 Olympics after he admitted to having used performance-enhancing drugs during the Games. In August 2010, Pettigrew committed suicide in the backseat of his locked car.
Lyudmyla Blonska is a Ukrainian heptathlete, long jumper and 2006 World Indoor champion pentathlete who was given a lifetime ban from competition after failing a drug test at the 2008 Olympics. She was keen to appeal against the results of the dope test but lacked financial backing to do so.
Rashid Ramzi is a Moroccan-Bahraini track and field athlete. He clinched gold at the Beijing Olympics in the 1500 meters, the first global medal for his country. But things turned woefully wrong for Ramzi as he was tested positive for doping and was stripped of his gold medal. As a result, he was banned for two years.