IOC to retest athletes for doping

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - Some 500 doping samples from the Beijing Olympics will be retested in January, the IOC said Tuesday.

About 400 blood tests searching for the illegal use of CERA, a new version of the endurance-enhancing hormone EPO, will be conducted at World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratories in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland.

A further 100 urine samples will be checked for insulin at a WADA lab in Cologne, Germany. The lab recently perfected a test for the hormone, which can serve as an anabolic agent to enhance an athlete's performance.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that the tests "will primarily target endurance events in cycling, rowing, swimming and athletics."

The first results are expected at the end of March.

The IOC said in October that it would recheck Beijing samples to look for CERA, after a new blood test was developed by the French Anti-Doping Agency. The test was used to catch four riders from the Tour de France in retesting after the July race.

Samples from the Olympics are frozen and stored for eight years, making them available when new detection methods are devised. Any athletes caught by new tests can be sanctioned and stripped of their results and medals.

The IOC says it conducted 4,770 doping tests during the Beijing Olympics, including nearly 1,000 blood screenings.

Six athletes tested positive, while three additional cases became known after the games and are still pending.

Rulings on the cases of Belarusian hammer throwers Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan -- who won the silver and bronze medals respectively -- and Polish canoeist Adam Seroczynski are expected at the IOC executive board meeting which begins Wednesday in Lausanne.