Bradford Paul COOPER

Olympic Medals
Games Participations1
First Olympic GamesMunich 1972
Year of Birth1954


Brad Cooper was a great all-around swimmer, whose career was a bit marred by the controversy surrounding his 1972 Olympic 400 m freestyle gold medal. At München, the favorites for 400 freestyle gold were Cooper and young American Rick DeMont, after the world record holder Kurt Krumpholz did not make the American Olympic team. In the Olympic final, Cooper and DeMont swam the last 50 m shoulder by shoulder and it was unclear who had won the race, but the electric timers gave it to DeMont by 1/100th of a second – 4:00.26 to 4:00.27. Two days after the news broke that DeMont had tested positive for a banned substance and was disqualified from the 400 freestyle. DeMont was an asthmatic and did not deny that he had taken Marax, an ephedrine derivative, the night before his 400 free final. DeMont never hid the fact that he took the drug on a regular basis for his asthma, and had noted this on his medical form required of US athletes, but the United States’ team doctors had never checked to see if it contained any banned substances and never notified the IOC. The IOC initially left the gold medal vacant, until a protest from the Australian delegation resulted in Cooper being awarded the gold medal, but after hearing the final decision Cooper said, “I don’t want the medal.”

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