Lausanne: Thirty-one athletes from six sports have tested positive for doping offences following the retesting of samples from the 2008 Beijing Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Tuesday.
As a result the athletes could be banned from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio. IOC retested 454 selected doping samples from the Beijing Games. The re-tests followed work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the international federations.
The executive board of the IOC agreed unanimously to initiate proceedings immediately. All those athletes infringing anti-doping rules will be banned from competing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
IOC will retest 250 more samples from the London 2012 Olympics soon 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 medallists from Beijing and London. The samples of those athletes who could be awarded medals following the disqualification of others will also be retested.
“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 the IOC president Thomas Bach in a statement.
“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.”