27th January, 1913 : Jim Thorpe, dubbed “the greatest athlete in the world” after his crushing victories at the Stockholm Olympics last year, was today stripped of his decathlon and pentathlon gold medals by the Olympics Committee. In the wake of newspaper revelations, Thorpe has admitted being paid $25 a week to play minor league baseball in North Carolina in 1909 and 1910, when he was already renowned as a top-class college footballer. The admission confirms Thorpe as a “professional” and so ineligible for the Olympics. The US Amateur Athletic Union have stricken his name from all record books, though the runners-up in the two events which he won so well have refused to accept the trophies in his place.

[ How many medals would have to be returned today if the rule still applied?

From Wikipedia: James Francis “Jim” Thorpe (Sac and Fox (Sauk): Wa-Tho-Huk, translated as “Bright Path”; May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953) was an American athlete of Native American and European ancestry. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football (collegiate and professional), and also played professional baseball and basketball. He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he was paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules that were then in place. In 1983, 30 years after his death, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored his Olympic medals. ]

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