|Competitor for the United States|
|Gold||1996 Atlanta||Shot put|
|Silver||1988 Seoul||Shot put|
|Silver||1993 Stuttgart||Shot put|
|Bronze||1995 Gothenburg||Shot put|
Eric Randolph ("Randy") Barnes (born June 16, 1966) is a former American 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.
Barnes was born in Charleston, West Virginia, grew up in nearby St. Albans, and began putting the shot in high school. In 1985, he threw an impressive 66 ' 9.5" (20.36 m) with the prep shot of 12 lb (5.44 kg). 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 m (71 ft 9.5 in) with the 7.26 kg (16 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 threw 22.39 m (73 ft 5.5 in) and earned a silver medal at only 22. He came second to Ulf Timmermann of East Germany, who threw 22.47 m. On January 20, 1989, he set a new indoor world record at the Sunkist Invitational in Los Angeles with a put of 22.66 m (74 ft 4.25 in), 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. 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 m throw on his final attempt. In 1998, he tested positive for androstenedione, an over-the-counter supplement (famously used by Mark McGwire) that is banned in track and field. Although Barnes claimed he didn't know androsten was banned, he was suspended from competition in the Olympic Games for life.
As of 2013[update], both of Barnes's records still stand. He recently became a long driving competitor, competing to hit a golf ball as far as possible; he qualified for the 2005 World Long Drive Championship.
|Men's shot put world record holder
May 20, 1990 – present