Toughest Anti-Doping Program Ever For Sochi Games

Toughest Anti-Doping Program Ever For Sochi GamesInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has remarked that anti-doping measures for the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be the toughest of any Winter Games.

Speaking to reporters in Seoul on a visit to check preparations for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, Bach said the International Olympic Committee would conduct more in- and out-of-competition tests for the Sochi Olympics than Vancouver 2010. The eastern resort town of Pyeongchang won its Olympics bid in 2011 and will become the first Asian country to host the Winter Olympics after Japan.

He added that we can clearly say that both as regards to quantity as well as quality this will be the toughest anti-doping program we have ever had in the Olympic Games. The recently-appointed IOC President hailed South Korea's preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics and remarked we are satisfied with progress made by the organizing committee and this progress makes us very, very confident about the success of the Winter Games in 2018.

The IOC chief added the "rapid increase" in the number of tests underlined the commitment of IOC to wipe out doping. He said this is the best evidence you can give for the commitment, because on the one hand, you have to express a zero tolerance policy but on the other, you also have to show this by facts. Bach went on to add this is what we are doing, to increase testing programs not only by quantity but also by quality.

A few weeks back, Bach told the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg that athletes would undergo 1,269 pre-competition tests -- over 400 more than at the Vancouver games.

The comments from Bach came a few days after the IOC announced that it will be re-testing samples from 2006 Torino Games, with an eight-year statute of limitations running out next year. Recently, a German state television reported that about two doping laboratories have found hundreds of positive tests using new methods. The German ARD broadcaster revealed that laboratories in Cologne and Moscow have found traces of anabolic steroids in hundreds of urine samples using the new testing method. However, IOC medical committee Chairman Arne Ljungqvist said we are re-testing Torino Games samples as planned and this is not linked to that report. Ljungqvist, head of the IOC's medical commission, remarked this case is a good example of the necessity of performing retests on Olympic doping samples and he would certainly conduct retests here.

The International Olympic Committee can retest samples of athletes from its own events up to eight years after the Games and can sanction them.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Doping Agency of Germany has remarked that none of the positive tests unearthed in tests it had authorized since late last year involved German athletes. It added NADA since the end of 2012 tested more than 3,500 samples using the refined methods and all samples of German athletes tested negative and also remarked that NADA also plans to re-analyze samples of selected sports and disciplines that have been stored for a longer period of time.

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