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IOC to retest hundreds of drug samples from the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing

By SI Wire
March 18, 2015

The International Olympic Committee says they plan to retest hundreds of doping samples from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in efforts to bust cheaters who were not caught the first time.

IOC medical director Richard Budgett said that retests have already been done on stored samples from Beijing, the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2012 London Olympics.

"Even if it's five or 10 years later, it's really an important thing to do," Budgett said to the Associated Press. "It's not ideal. You want to do it as close as possible to the time, but if you've got no option but to do it later, then that's what you have to do."

The IOC believes that with the new methods of drug tests that will be able to catch dopers. An eight-year statue of limitations was extended to 10 years under the new World Anti-Doping Code. Samples from the Beijing game can now be tested up to 2018.

More than 4,000 samples were taken at the Beijing games and Budgett says that a "significant number" of samples will be retested from athletes who could compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"It will be in the hundreds. Who knows what tests are going to be developed over the next two years? It makes a lot of sense to wait another couple of years for the majority," Budgett said.

IOC officials did retest some samples that were taken from Beijing looking for the blood-booster CERA. Five athletes were busted on the retest, including Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain, who had his 1,500 meter gold medal stripped.

- Scooby Axson

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