Questions for ‘Even some Olympic athletes cheat with drugs’


Most athletes don’t cheat through doping. But those who do, and are caught, face serious consequences. They can be banned from their sport. And their past wins may be erased.

Jacob Ammentorp Lund/istockphoto


Before Reading: 

1.            What is “doping” in sports and why is it banned?

2.            What motivates some athletes to cheat in this way?

During Reading: 

1.            How many of Russia’s athletes who qualified for the Olympics on the basis of their sports achievements actually went to the 2016 Rio games?

2.            Besides being caught “doping,” what other doping-related activities can disqualify a potential Olympian from competing?

3.            What did the ancient Greeks sometimes use in order to run faster and fight better, according to this story?

4.            After World War II, what type of doping agents became popular — and led to the death of a Danish cyclist in 1960?

5.            What two factors, according to the story, motivated Arne Ljungqvist to get involved in anti-doping research?

6.            Since 2015, athletes from what two Olympic games (name city and year) were shown to have been doping and now had to return some medals.

7.            What is “gene doping” and how will scientists look for it?

8.            What does EPO stand for, and why do many athletes want more of it in their body?

9.            What are introns and how might they be used to find EPO cheaters?

10.          What is the new “gene editing” technology called?

After Reading: 

1.            Famed cyclist Lance Armstrong is the most famous athlete associated with EPO doping. Do some research and then describe how long he performed in his sport, what is known about how long he doped and what price he paid for this type of cheating.

2.            Describe what you think motivates athletes to use doping to cheat. And then describe some strategies that you think coaches, parents and other athletes could engage in to help deter elite athletes from giving in to the temptation to dope.


1.            The modern summer Olympic games began in 1896. They have been held every four years, except for during World War I and II (1916, 1940 and 1944). How many games have taken place so far? Show how you calculated that.

2.            During the first modern Olympic games there were only 42 events. The 2016 summer Olympics had 306 events. How big a percentage increase is that? Show your work.

3.            Women were competing for 136 medals at the 2016 games in Rio, men were competing for 161. What percentage of the total do the women’s medals constitute? Show your work.