Randy Barnes (born June 16, 1966) is an American shot putter who holds both the outdoor and indoor distance records. He won silver at the 1988 Olympics and gold at the 1996 Olympics.
Barnes was born in Charleston, West Virginia and began shot putting 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 near Charleston in 1985, he attended Texas A&M University where he broke school records (set by Randy Matson ) with a 21.88 (71 ft 9.5 in) distance with the 16 lb (7.26 kg) full size shot.
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. Then on January 20, 1989, he set a new indoor world record at the Sunkist Invitational in Los Angeles with a distance 22.66 m (74 ft 4.25 in), better than his outdoor personal best at the time.
On May 20, 1990, he broke Ulf Timmermann's outdoor record with a distance of 23.12 m. Barnes was banned from competing for 27 months after testing positive for the anabolic steroid methyltestosterone at Malmo, Sweden on August 7th 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 andro was banned, he was suspended for life.
As of 2003, both of Barnes's records still stand.