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Boris Onishchenko

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Country  Soviet Union
Residence  Kiev, Ukraine
Role  Olympic athlete
Name  Boris Onishchenko
Event(s)  modern pentathlete

Boris Onishchenko httpslearnodonewtoniccomwpcontentuploads2
Full name  Boris Grigor'evich Onischenko
Born  19 September 1937 (age 78) (1937-09-19)
Olympic medals  Modern Pentathlon at the 1972 Summer Olympics - Men's Individual

Boris Grigoryevich Onishchenko (Борис Григорьевич Онищенко; also transliterated as Onyshchenko, Onishenko, Onischenko; born 19 September 1937) is a former Soviet modern pentathlete who competed at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics. Being a multiple Olympic and world champion he was disqualified for cheating at the 1976 Summer Olympics and banned for life from sports.

1976 Olympics

Having already earned his country an Olympic medal earlier in Mexico City and Munich, Onishchenko entered the event as a three-time world champion and a sportsman respected by his fellow Olympians. After the first event of the pentathlon, the Soviet team found itself in fourth place, trailing closely behind Britain. Fencing was the next event: a one-touch épée tournament. Onishchenko was considered the finest fencer among his competitors and was favored to win his matches.

During Onishchenko's bout with British team captain Jim Fox, the British team protested that Onishchenko's weapon had gone off without actually hitting anything. The competition director seized Onischenko's weapon and brought it to the bout committee. The bout was allowed to continue, and despite using an unmodified sword, he still won by a large margin.

In electric épée fencing, a touch is registered on the scoring box when the tip of the weapon is depressed with a force of 750 grams, completing a circuit formed by the weapon, body cord, and box. It was found that Onischenko's épée had been illegally modified to include a switch that allowed him to close this circuit without actually depressing the tip of his weapon, so he could register a touch without making any contact on his opponent. Onischenko was ejected from the competition, which forced the Soviet Union to scratch from the team event. The British team that exposed Onishchenko went on to win the gold medal.

Newspapers decried him as "Disonischenko" and "Boris the Cheat". Onishchenko earned the enmity of other Soviet Olympic team members: for example, the USSR volleyball team members threatened to throw him out of the hotel's window if they met him. He was escorted from the athletes' village by Soviet officials the night of his disqualification and reported to be "back in his home town of Kiev" the next day. Two months later it was reported he had been called before Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev for a personal scolding, and was dismissed from the Red Army, fined 5,000 roubles, stripped of all his sporting honours, and was working as a taxi driver in Kiev.


Boris Onishchenko Wikipedia

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