Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Tonya Knight

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Retired 1993


Tonya Knight

TV shows
American Gladiators

Tonya Knight - Greatest Physiques

March 24, 1966 (age 57) Peculiar, Missouri, U.S. (

IFBB Pro World Championships, 1988

Best win
IFBB Ms. International champion, 1991

Kay Baxter, Laura Creavalle, Nikki Fuller

Bodybuilding tonya knight

Tonya Knight (born March 24, 1966) is an American professional female bodybuilder.


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1989 tonya knight michigan champs

Early life

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Tonya Knight was born in 1966 in Peculiar, Missouri.


Tonya Knight Tonya Knight

After IFBB officials presented strong evidence against Tonya that she got someone other than herself to supply test-passing urine, she admitted that she sent a surrogate to take a mandatory drug test administered before the 1988 Ms. Olympia, where she finished fourth. In a ruling handed down in November 1989, she was suspended, stripped of her 1989 Ms. International title (which went to runner-up Jackie Paisley) and asked to return her 1989 Ms. International and 1988 Ms. Olympia prize money, totaling $12,000. After the scandal, she returned to the stage in triumph in 1991, winning the Ms. International title, this time without incident. She went on to compete in only two more pro contests, the last in 1993.


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Tonya remains the only Ms. International winner to lose one of her Ms. International titles. She was inducted into the 2011 IFBB Hall of Fame.

Contest history

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  • 1984 NPC USA Championship - 11th (LHW)
  • 1985 NPC USA Championship - 6th (HW)
  • 1986 NPC USA Championship - 4th (HW)
  • 1988 Pro World Championship - 5th
  • 1988 IFBB Ms. Olympia - 4th (later disqualified)
  • 1989 Ms. International - 1st (later disqualified)
  • 1991 IFBB Grand Prix Italy - 1st
  • 1991 Ms. International - 1st
  • 1992 Ms. International - 6th
  • 1993 Jan Tana Classic - 3rd
  • Personal life

    Tonya Knight Tonya Knight

    Tonya currently lives in Overland Park, Kansas. She was married to a bodybuilder named John Poteat, but they are now divorced. She has 3 brothers named Timothy, Todd and Travis and a few other step and in-law siblings, and a son named Malachi.

    Television appearance

    Tonya was a regular on American Gladiators, as the character Gold, from 1989 to 1992, until she left due to an injury to her left knee.

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    Tonya Knight Tonya Knight

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    Tonya Knight Wikipedia