Re-testing to reveal London, Beijing Olympic drug cheats

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There are less than three months to go to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which start on August 5.
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games start on August 5.

Some athletes who took part in the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2008 Games in Beijing may be prohibited from competing at Rio 2016, following a bold new action  to keep drug cheats out.

The move to step up the fight against drugs cheats was announced late on Tuesday after a special session of the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board. Speaking after the meeting IOC President Thomas Bach also announced additional measures to protect clean athletes.

IOC President Thomas Bach at the Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in April at in Olympia on the site of the ancient Olympic Games dating back to 776BC.
IOC President Thomas Bach at the Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in April at in Olympia on the site of the ancient Olympic Games dating back to 776BC.

The IOC retested 454 selected doping samples from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The re-tests follow work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Federations. They were focused on athletes who could potentially start at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and were conducted using the latest scientific analysis methods. As a result up to 31 athletes from six sports and 12 countries could be banned from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio. The Executive Board of the IOC agreed unanimously to initiate proceedings immediately, with the 12 National Olympic Committees concerned informed in the coming days. All those athletes infringing anti-doping rules will be banned from competing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

Another 250 more results from retesting of samples from the London 2012 Games will be announced shortly, with the aim is to stop any drugs cheats coming to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The IOC will also undertake a wider re-testing programme of medalists from Beijing and London. The samples of those athletes who could be awarded medals following the disqualification of others will also be retested.

The IOC has also requested that WADA initiate a fully fledged investigation into allegations that testing at the Sochi Laboratory was subverted following the 2014 Winter Olympics. The IOC will instruct the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory, where the Sochi samples are stored for 10 years, to proceed in cooperation with WADA with their analysis in the most sophisticated and efficient way possible.

“All these measures are a powerful strike against the cheats we do not allow to win. They show once again that dopers have no place to hide,” said IOC President Bach, an Olympic Gold Medalist in Fencing.

“The re-tests from Beijing and London and the measures we are taking following the worrying allegations against the Laboratory in Sochi are another major step to protect the clean athletes irrespective of any sport or any nation. We keep samples for ten years so that the cheats know that they can never rest.

“By stopping so many doped athletes from participating in Rio we are showing once more our determination to protect the integrity of the Olympic competitions, including the Rio anti-doping laboratory, so that the Olympic magic can unfold in Rio de Janeiro.”

Protecting the clean athletes is a key pillar of Olympic Agenda 2020 the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. This means that all those implicated in doping cases whether it be athletes, coaches, doctors or any other persons or organizations must be punished using the full powers available.

The IOC’s Executive Board has also announced full support for the “Global Declaration Against Corruption”, which was adopted at the International Anti-Corruption Summit organised by British Prime Minister David Cameron last Thursday in London. The IOC was represented by International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven, who chaired a panel on sport and was joined by the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Pâquerette Girard Zappelli.

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