The Summer 2012 Olympic Games commence on July 27th, bringing thousands of athletes from over 200 different nations together in celebration of sport. London should be rife with impressive displays of athletic prowess, breath taking moments, heated rivalries, and, at least this spectator hopes, a bad decision or two. For what would an event of this size be without a few arrests sprinkled in to stir up controversy. Until then, here are a few of the most interesting arrests involving Olympic athletes to hold you over while you wait for the torch to make it’s way to Olympic Village.
That’s Not My Toboggan
Way back in 1964, three members of the U.S. Olympic team were arrested at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria for stealing a car and disturbing the peace. After leaving a party leaving Skier Bill Marolt and tobogganists (of course tobogganists were involved) George Farmer and Mike Hessel happened upon an unlocked car and decided to “take it for a joy ride”. A 15 minute police chase ensued, with the Olympians weaving through traffic, heading the wrong way down one way streets, and finally hitting a parked car before they were corned by Austrian police. Perhaps not surprisingly, the 3 finished no better than 12th place in their respective events.
Track & Felony
In 2006, former Olympic gold medalist Tim Montgomery was arrested and charged with with bank fraud in a multi million dollar check fraud and money laundering scheme. Montgomery, his coach Steven Riddick, and 12 others were arrested in connection with the scam. This arrest came on the heels of Montgomery’s discrace and subsequent banning from track and field in the BALCO doping scandle…
…Speaking of Tim Montgomery and BALCO, Marion Jones, five time Olympic medalist and former fastest woman on earth, was sentenced to 6 months in jail for perjury during investigations into BALCO and the afore mentioned check fraud scam. Jones was stripped of her Olympic medals and banned from participating in the 2008 Olympic Games in any capacity.
Bob-sled and Weave
At the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, U.S. bobsledder Bill Schuffenhauer was arrested and detained for allegedly assaulting his fiancee. Schuffenhauer, a silver medalist at the 2002 Salt Lake City games, was released and allowed to compete in his event later that day, finishing in 13th place.
Former Nigerian Olympian Ambrose Monye, he competed in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, turned muscle for hire (and suspected drug lord) was arrested in 2011 in connection with the murder of a young South African mother. Monye was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, and illegal possession of a firearm.
Hungary? I’ve Got The Munchies
In 2009, former Hungarian Greco-Roman wrestling champion Peter Farkas was arrested and sentenced to 7 years in prison on drug charges. Farkas, a gold medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games, had been running a large scale marijuana grow operation in a suburb of Budapest.
But Where Would He Hide It?
U.K. Olympic Synchronized Diver (Insert Speedo joke, wait, we already did) Blake Aldridge was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and assault outside a supermarket in early 2010. Aldridge and a friend were accused of stealing several bottles of wine and, when confronted by a security guard, the diver punched him in the face. Aldridge was taken to a London police station where he was later release on bail.
So, while NBC is recapping the event results and constantly updating the medal counts, we will be checking for court results and felony counts.