A New Contender for Dirtiest Race in History // VICE Sports

Shannon Rowbury stepped to the starting line of London’s Olympic Stadium four years ago with one goal: to win a medal for the United States at the 2012 Summer Games. It was the final of the women’s 1500 meters, and most of the world’s top middle distance runners were there. Clad in the red Team USA uniform, with her brown hair pulled back in a braid, Rowbury kissed her wedding ring and then blew a kiss to the camera as she was introduced to the crowd of eighty thousand cheering in the stands.

Before the race even started, Rowbury knew she was competing against a couple convicted drug cheats. Still, her best was good enough for a bronze medal at the World Championships a few years earlier and she trained well for the Olympics. She felt ready to bring home a medal.

But then the runners took off.

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