Eric Randolph Barnes (born June 16, 1966) is an American former shot putter who holds both the current outdoor and indoor world records for the event. He won silver at the 1988 Olympics and gold at the 1996 Olympics. As of 2019[update], both of Barnes's records still stand. Only one thrower have has been within 40 centimetres (16 in) of the outdoor record in the last 10 years. Barnes was banned for 27 months in 1990 for anabolic steroid usage, before he received a lifetime ban in 1998 after testing positive for androstenedione.
Barnes at the UTEP Sierra Medical invitational meet in 1994
|Full name||Eric Randolph Barnes|
|Born||June 16, 1966|
Charleston, West Virginia, United States
|Height||6 ft 4 1⁄2 in (194 cm)|
|Weight||291 lb (132 kg)|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||23.12 m (1990)|
Barnes was born in Charleston, West Virginia, grew up in nearby St. Albans, and began putting the shot in high school. In 1985, he put an impressive 20.36 metres (66.8 ft) with the prep shot of 5.4 kilograms (12 lb). After graduating from St. Albans High School in 1985, he attended Texas A&M University where he broke school records (set by Randy Matson) with a put of 21.88 metres (71.8 ft) with the 7.26 kilograms (16.0 lb) full size shot. While at A&M, Randy worked with hall of famer conditioning coach Istvan Javorek.
He went to the 1988 Seoul Olympics where he put 22.39 metres (73.5 ft) and earned a silver medal at only 22. He came second to Ulf Timmermann of East Germany, who put 22.47 metres (73.7 ft). On January 20, 1989, he set a new indoor world record at the Sunkist Invitational in Los Angeles with a put of 22.66 metres (74.3 ft), which was better than his outdoor personal best at the time.
On May 20, 1990, he broke Ulf Timmermann's outdoor record with a put of 23.12 m (75 ft 10 in). Six days later he almost matched his world record, throwing 23.10 m (75 ft 9 1⁄4 in) at the Bruce Jenner Invitational in San Jose. Barnes was banned from competing for 27 months after testing positive for the anabolic steroid methyltestosterone at a competition in Malmö, Sweden on August 7 that same year. He sued to have the suspension overturned, but lost. Due to the suspension, he was unable to compete in the 1992 Olympics.
At the 1996 Olympic games, Barnes won the gold medal that eluded him 8 years earlier with a come-from-behind 21.62 metres (70.9 ft) put on his final attempt. In 1998, he tested positive for androstenedione, an over-the-counter supplement (famously used by baseball player Mark McGwire) that is banned in track and field. Although Barnes claimed he didn't know androsten was banned, he was suspended from competition for life.
- IAAF World Records. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-01-18.
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Randy Barnes". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2015-01-18.
- Randy Barnes. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-01-18.
- Hersh, Phil (1991-04-24). Track Panel Turns Down Barnes` Steroid Appeal. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2015-01-18.
- US athletics stars suspended. BBC Sport. Retrieved on 2015-01-18.
- Warters, Bob (2004-08-24). Golden Olympian's now a long driver. Golf Magic. Retrieved on 2015-01-18.