The 1983 Pan American Games were held in Caracas, Venezuela from August 14 to August 29, 1983. The games were the first major international competition to include relatively accurate steroid testing. After 15 athletes, mostly weightlifters, tested positive, many others — including 12 American track and field athletes — came down with injuries, got sick, or found other reasons to withdraw from competition and avoid the test.
Four cities submitted bids to host the 1983 Pan American Games that were recognized by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO); however, only one city, Hamilton, Ontario submitted their bid on time. On April 23, 1977, Caracas, Venezuela was selected over Hamilton, Canada in a two-city vote to host the IX Pan American Games by the PASO at its general assembly in San Juan, Puerto Rico.