Humanities › History & Culture History of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal Share Flipboard Email Print RENAULT Philippe / Getty Images History & Culture The 20th Century Fads & Fashions People & Events Early 20th Century The 20s The 30s The 40s The 50s The 60s The 80s The 90s American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History Women's History View More By Jennifer Rosenberg History Expert B.A., History, University of California at Davis Jennifer Rosenberg is a historian and writer who specializes in 20th-century history. our editorial process Jennifer Rosenberg Updated March 17, 2019 The 1976 Olympic Games were marred by boycotts and drug allegations. Before the Olympic Games, New Zealand's rugby team toured South Africa (still mired in apartheid) and played against them. Because of this, much of the rest of Africa threatened the IOC to ban New Zealand from the Olympic Games or they would boycott the Games. Since the IOC had no control over the playing of rugby, the IOC tried to persuade the Africans not to use the Olympics as retaliation. In the end, 26 African countries boycotted the Games. Also, Taiwan was excluded from the Games when Canada would not recognize them as the Republic of China. Drug Allegations The drug allegations were rampant at these Olympics. Though most of the allegations were not proven, many athletes, especially the East German women swimmers, were accused of using anabolic steroids. When Shirley Babashoff (United States) accused her rivals of using anabolic steroids because of their big muscles and deep voices, an official from the East German team responded: "They came to swim, not to sing." Financial Implications The Games were also a financial disaster for Quebec. Since Quebec built, and built, and built for the Games, they spent the enormous figure of $2 billion, placing them in debt for decades. On a more positive note, these Olympic Games saw the rise of the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci who won three gold medals. Approximately 6,000 athletes participated, representing 88 countries. Source Allen Guttmann, The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games. (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992) 146.