As one writer put it, “Rio de Janeiro may well be gearing up to welcome the world to the Olympic games but not everyone will be invited to that party.” The reason is that up to 31 athletes from six different sports could be banned from competing at the Summer Olympics in Rio this August.The International Olympic Committee made the announcement after retesting 454 doping samples from the 2008 Beijing games.
The IOC said the retests were conducted using the very latest scientific analysis methods. It also revealed it is awaiting the results of 250 retests from the 2012 Olympics in London.
According to reports, the names of the athletes will only be revealed after they’ve been told the results and alternate “B-samples” are confirmed positive as well.
IOC president Thomas Bach is quoted as saying,“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. 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 competition.”
More than 4,500 tests were carried out at the Beijing Games in 2008 – but just nine athletes were caught cheating.
The IOC said the retests were focused on athletes who could potentially take part in Rio.
The news adds more to recent doping scandals throughout the sporting world.
In November, Russia was banned from athletics competition following a WADA report. Kenya was also judged to have breached anti-doping rules and was found non-compliant by WADA.