Geek Trivia

The First Athlete To Be Disqualified From The Olympics For Doping Used Which Of These Substances?

The Zeigarnik Effect Leads Us To Best Remember The Details Of?

Answer: Beer

In the 1968 Summer Olympics,¬†Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall—a Swedish pentathlete—had the distinction of being the first athlete to be disqualified from the Olympics for doping (which subsequently caused the disqualification of the Swedish team, who had to eventually return their bronze medals). Liljenwall certainly wasn’t the first person in the history of competitions, Olympic or otherwise, to use performance enhancing drugs, but he was the first one to be caught and expelled from the Olympics after the introduction of wide-ranging anti-doping regulations by the International Olympics Committee in 1967.

His offense? Downing “two beers” before taking up his target pistol. If you’ve never had a few pints at the pub and played a round of darts or a glass of whiskey before taking up some snooker or pool, you might not be aware of how much of an affect alcohol has on sports that require fine motor skills and precise hand movements.

When it comes to activities like darts, pool, or target shooting, the ability to control the tiniest tremors in your hands is a huge advantage in helping you place the item (be it a dart, a ball, or a bullet) exactly where you want it. The effect of a unit or two of alcohol on the muscle control and stability of target shooters is so profound, in fact, that consuming alcohol right before a match is considered use of a performance enhancing drug. In a similar vein, beta blockers (again because they help steady the hands) are also banned in target shooting sports.

Image courtesy of U3144362/Wikimedia.