Tonya Knight

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Tonya Knight[1]
Personal info
Born (1966-03-24) March 24, 1966 (age 53)[2]
Peculiar, Missouri, U.S.[2]
Professional career
Pro-debutIFBB Pro World Championships[1], 1988[1]
Best winIFBB Ms. International champion[1], 1991[1]
PredecessorLaura Creavalle[1]
SuccessorAnja Schreiner[1]
ActiveRetired 1993

Tonya Knight (born March 24, 1966) is an American professional female bodybuilder.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tonya Knight was born in 1966 in Peculiar, Missouri.[2]

Bodybuilding career[edit]



After IFBB officials presented strong evidence against Tonya that she got someone other than herself to supply test-passing urine, she admitted that she sent a surrogate to take a mandatory drug test administered before the 1988 Ms. Olympia, where she finished fourth. In a ruling handed down in November 1989, she was suspended, stripped of her 1989 Ms. International title (which went to runner-up Jackie Paisley) and asked to return her 1989 Ms. International and 1988 Ms. Olympia prize money, totaling $12,000. After the scandal, she returned to the stage in triumph in 1991, winning the Ms. International title, this time without incident, she went on to compete in only two more pro contests, the last in 1993.[3]



Tonya remains the only Ms. International winner to lose one of her Ms. International titles, she was inducted into the 2011 IFBB Hall of Fame.[4][3]

Contest history[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Tonya currently lives in Overland Park, Kansas, she was married to the late bodybuilder John Poteat, but they divorced. She has 3 brothers named Timothy, Todd and Travis and a few other step and in-law siblings, and a son named Malachi.[2]

Television appearance[edit]

Tonya was a regular on American Gladiators, as the character Gold, from 1989 to 1992, until she left due to an injury to her left knee.[4]


Ms. International
Preceded by:
Laura Creavalle
First (1991) Succeeded by:
Anja Schreiner