Tuesday, July 17, 2012


The international Olympic Committee have said that it is investigating suspected positive doping tests from the Athens Olympics that could lead to drug cheats being sanctioned retroactively eight years after.

According to the IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist, up to five suspicious results have been uncovered during retesting of samples from the 2004 Games.
The IOC decided in May to retest Athens samples to catch any dopers who may have escaped detection at the time with 100 samples  reanalyzed at the drug-testing laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The IOC stores doping samples from each Olympics for eight years to allow for retesting.

The statute of limitations for Athens will expire Aug. 29, the date the games closed in 2004.

Ljungqvist declined to identify the athletes or sports that produced the suspicious tests, citing legal reasons.

“It is a matter of less than five,” he said. “They are potentially positive. It could be one or two, it could be none. It depends on confirmation and evaluation.”

The IOC previously retested samples from the 2006 Winter Games in Turin and 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

The Beijing retests caught five athletes for use of CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO. Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain was retroactively stripped of his gold medal in the 1,500 meters.

The Athens Games produced a record 26 doping cases, more than double the previous Olympic high of 12 in Los Angeles in 1984. Six medalists, including two gold winners, were caught in Athens from among 3,600 tests.

The move to retest Athens samples came after the World Anti-Doping Agency asked the IOC check the samples again based on the emergence of new testing methods since 2004.

Ljungqvist said the IOC still needs to determine whether the athletes flagged in the retests had a TUE, or therapeutic use exemption, that allowed them to use certain medications for valid medical reasons, and whether the chain of custody of the samples was respected.

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