Before the event started, nine athletes were tested positive for “sophisticated doping” and banned from the 2012 Olympics. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. For as long as there have been games, there have been stories of cheating.
Competitive sports — an open-ended contest for a prize — started in antiquity. The Olympics, which were held every four years at Olympia, a sanctuary to the god Zeus in the western Peloponnese, became the most prestigious venue for athletics by about 600 B.C. and spawned a whole series of similar events in the next century.