With the 2016 Summer Olympics set to kick off in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, we're in store for many heartwarming stories of athletes overcoming adversity to fulfill their gold-medal dreams. But, as John Oliver reminded us on the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, we're also bound to hear allegations of competitors breaking the rules to gain a competitive edge.
Already, the Russian track team has been barred from this year's Olympiad for not only using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) but also trying to skew the results of their drug tests by downing the banned pills with alcohol: chivas for men and vermouth for women.
"Wait, wait - vermouth for the ladies? Look, I get that doping is still going on. But I'd hope that unnecessarily gendered illegal products died out with the Virginia Slim's crack pipe," said John Oliver.
But gender stereotypes aside, cheating has come a long way.
"For as long as there's been science, people have used it to juice the human body," Oliver revealed. "In the 1920s, a Russian-born French surgeon grafted thin slices of chimp testicles into people's scrotums. Which is obviously ridiculous. These days we know you need thick slices of chimp testicles. That's when it starts to work."
Nowadays, athletes using PEDs have stooped to tactics like stowing condoms filled with clean urine in their rectums so that they can fake a urine test after a race. And we shouldn't be surprised that they would take such extreme measures considering what's at stake.
"A split-second advantage can make the difference between winning and losing. And there's a lot of money on the line for everyone," including athletes as well as sponsors, TV networks and the event organizations like the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
And some suspect that countries, sports organizations and testing agencies aren't interested in catching every cheater. Dick Pound - former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has said, "The machinery's all there. The question is, do people really want it to work? You can do hundreds of thousands of tests and then catch nobody if you don't want to catch anybody...People don't want it to work."
Watch the full clip to find out why and to hear more bizarre examples of athletes cheating their way to the podium.