The Olympic motto urges athletes to aim faster, higher and stronger but over the years, some have taken that to extreme lengths.

The call for Russia to be banned from the Games is just the latest controversy to mire the Olympics.

Here are some of the most infamous controversies that have blighted the Games...


Native American athlete Jim Thorpe won pentathlon and decathlon gold at the 1912 Games, but was subsequently stripped of his medals and records after it was discovered he had played professional baseball. In 1983, 30 years after Thorpe's death, the International Olympic Committee finally announced that Thorpe's Olympic medals had been restored.



American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved fists on the podium for the 200 metres medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico City Games in what was widely seen to be a 'Black Power' salute. Australian silver medallist Peter Norman wore a human rights badge to show his support. Deemed to have made a political gesture, the US athletes were expelled from the Games.


With the Cold War at its height, the USSR ended American dominance of Olympic basketball in controversial fashion at the 1972 Munich Games. The buzzer went and the USA thought they had won by one point. But amid confusion over a Soviet time-out, the clock was re-set to three seconds. Alexander Belov duly sunk the winning basket. To this day, most of the USA team refuse to accept their silver medals. The Munich massacre took the headlines away from sport as 11 members of Israel's Olympic team were taken hostage and later killed by Palestinian terrorist group Black September, who demanded 234 jailed prisoners were released.


Ben Johnson blazed to 100m gold at the 1988 Seoul Games in a new world record time of 9.79 seconds. His time was immediately questioned by silver medallist Carl Lewis, and three days later Johnson was disqualified after testing positive for the steroid stanozolol. Lewis was upgraded to the gold medal and Briton Linford Christie took silver.


American Roy Jones Jr dominated the light-middleweight final at the 1988 Seoul Games, but gold was awarded to home favourite Park Si-hun. Even Park tried to apologise to Jones afterwards. Despite all three judges being suspended, and Jones being awarded the Val Barker Trophy for best boxer of the tournament, the IOC still stands by the original decision.


American Fred Lorz dropped out of the 1904 Olympic marathon after nine miles, and returned to the stadium by car to collect his clothes. Upon re-entering the stadium, he was mistakenly identified as the winner, and went along with the confusion by breasting the tape. Lorz was banned for life, but later reinstated after insisting his actions were meant in jest.


US president Jimmy Carter ensured his country and many other nations boycotted the 1980 summer Olympic Games due to the prestigious event taking place in Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union. Just 80 countries participated due to the host nation.