Sports / Olympic Games

IOC: 31 athletes face ban from Rio Olympics

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-05-18 10:19
GENEVA - Thirty-one athletes from six sports could be banned from the Rio Olympics for doping following re-tests on their samples from the 2008 Beijing Games, said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on its official website on Tuesday.

The IOC Executive Board met in special session on Tuesday to step up the fight against drugs cheats, and additional measures will be announced to protect clean athletes, said the IOC.

The IOC retested 454 selected doping samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. The re-tests follow work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Federations.

The tests were focused on athletes who could potentially start at the Rio Games and were conducted using the very latest scientific analysis methods.

As a result, up to 31 athletes from six sports could be banned from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio, and the IOC Executive Board agreed unanimously to initiate proceedings immediately, with the 12 NOCs concerned informed in the coming days. All those athletes infringing anti-doping rules will be banned from competing at the 2016 Olympics.

The fight to protect the clean athletes does not stop there, with 250 more results from retesting of samples from the Olympic Games London 2012 to come shortly. The aim is to stop any drugs cheats coming to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, said the IOC.

The IOC will also undertake a wider re-testing program 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.

"All these measures are a powerful strike against the cheats we do not allow to win," said IOC President Thomas Bach.

"We keep samples for 10 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," he added.
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