Rick DeMont

Richard James DeMont (born April 21, 1956) is an American former competition swimmer, world champion, and former world record-holder in multiple events. DeMont is often remembered for the controversy arising from his disqualification at the 1972 Summer Olympics because he tested positive for a prohibited substance present in his prescription asthma medication.

Rick DeMont
DeMont at the 1972 Olympics
Personal information
Full nameRichard James DeMont
National teamUnited States
Born (1956-04-21) April 21, 1956
San Francisco, California, U.S.[1]
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight152 lb (69 kg)
ClubMarin Aquatic Club[1]

DeMont was born in San Francisco, California, and he attended Terra Linda High School in suburban San Rafael, California. He trained with the Marin Aquatic Club. As a 16-year-old, DeMont qualified to represent the United States at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He won a gold medal for his first-place finish (4:00.26) in the men's 400-meter freestyle. Following the race, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped DeMont of his gold medal[2] after his post-race urinalysis tested positive for traces of the banned substance ephedrine contained in his prescription asthma medication, Marax. The positive test following the 400-meter freestyle final also deprived him of a chance at multiple medals, as he was not permitted to swim in any other events at the 1972 Olympics, including the 1,500-meter freestyle for which he was the then-current world record-holder. Before the Olympics, DeMont had properly declared his asthma medications on his medical disclosure forms, but the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) had not cleared them with the IOC's medical committee.[1]

At the 1973 World Aquatics Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, DeMont became the first man to swim the 400-meter freestyle in under four minutes (3:58.18). The same year he was voted World Swimmer of the Year.[3]

In 1990 DeMont was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.[3] In 2001 the USOC admitted that it had mishandled DeMont's medical information at the 1972 Olympics and appealed to the IOC to reinstate the medal.[4] To date, the IOC has not officially changed the race results nor overturned his ban.[5]

DeMont was an assistant coach for the South African men's swim team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

In 2014, after being a member of the coaching staff for 24 seasons, DeMont was named the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats men's and women's swimming and diving teams at the University of Arizona.[6]

See also


  1. Rick DeMont. Sports-Reference.com
  2. Neil Amdur, "Of Gold and Drugs," The New York Times (September 4, 1972). Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  3. Rick DeMont (USA). International Swimming Hall of Fame
  4. Dan Patrick, "DeMont redeemed after 29 years," ESPN.com (December 6, 2001). Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  5. Associated Press, "Better late than never," Sports Illustrated (January 30, 2001). Archived February 3, 2014; retrieved March 16, 2015.
  6. ArizonaWildcats.com, Swimming and Diving, Coaches, Rick DeMont. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
Preceded by
John Kinsella
Men's 1,500-meter freestyle
world record-holder

August 6 – September 4, 1972
Succeeded by
Mike Burton
Preceded by
Kurt Krumpholz
Men's 400-meter freestyle
world record-holder

September 9, 1973 – August 22, 1974
Succeeded by
Tim Shaw
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