The 1983 Pan American Games were held in Caracas, Venezuela from August 14 to August 29, 1983. The games were the first major international competition to include relatively accurate steroid testing. After 15 athletes, mostly weightlifters, tested positive, many others — including 12 American track and field athletes — came down with injuries, got sick, or found other reasons to withdraw from competition and avoid the test.
Format of Competition
The format was very similar to that of the Olympic Games. It was carried out in three stages:
- Competition I - The team competition/qualification round in which all gymnasts, including those who were not part of a team, performed both compulsory and optional exercises. The combined scores of all team members determined the final score of the team. The thirty-six highest scoring gymnasts in the all-around qualified to the individual all-around competition. The six highest scoring gymnasts on each apparatus qualified to the final for that apparatus.
- Competition II - The individual all-around competition, in which those who qualified from Competition I performed exercises on each apparatus. The final score of each gymnast was composed of half the points earned by that gymnast during Competition I and all of the points earned by her in Competition II.
- Competition III - The apparatus finals, in which those who qualified during Competition I performed an exercise on the individual apparatus on which she had qualified. The final score of each gymnast was composed of half the points earned by that gymnast on that particular apparatus during Competition I and all of the points earned by her on that particular apparatus in Competition III.