The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will use an improved steroid test for reanalyzing frozen doping samples from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. The Swiss non-profit and non-governmental organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland may even use the same method for conducting retests from the 2008 Beijing Games.
IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist remarked the tests have the potential of detecting the use of anabolic steroids, going further back and in lower concentrations. He added it is a natural development of the methodology and the tests increase the odds of catching drug cheats who may have gone undetected earlier. Ljungqvist added that the governing body expects to have the results of Turin samples by the end of this year. He said the IOC is checking these samples for anabolic steroids, new generations of the blood-booster EPO, and growth hormone. The blood and urine samples from Turin games are stored at the doping laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC medical commission chairman also remarked more Beijing samples could now be retested using the improved steroid test and said we can go back to Beijing before 2016 and we will do it as the eight-year time approaches.
During the Turin Games, only Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva tested positive. Olga was stripped of a silver medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant. The Games were hit with a huge doping scandal when Italian police seized blood-doping equipment after raiding the lodgings of the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team. Four Austrian athletes received life bans from the International Olympic Committee. In 2012, the IOC retested samples from the Athens Olympics and was able to caught five athletes who were then retroactively stripped of medals for using anabolic androgenic steroids, including men's shot put winner Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine. Retests of samples from Beijing for CERA led to Bahrain runner Rashid Ramzi being stripped of gold in the 1,500 meters, along with four other positive cases.
In March this year, it was announced by the IOC that it plans to retest samples from the Turin Winter Olympics just as it rechecked some samples from the 2004 and 2008 Summer Games in Athens and Beijing and was able to caught 10 dopers retroactively. The International Olympic Committee stores samples for duration of eight years so that retesting can happen when new methods become available. In a statement, the IOC remarked it is currently retesting some of the samples collected during the Olympic Winter Games in Turin in 2006 and we can confirm that we are using the new long-term metabolites method to detect anabolic steroids. It also remarked that this method of catching drug cheats will be used in the drug-testing program at the Sochi Olympics in February 2014.
According to a recent report by German broadcaster ARD, hundreds of positive cases in recent months have been detected by doping laboratories in Cologne and Moscow. It was revealed by the report that the substances included Oral Turinabol and Stanozolol.
The IOC is keen to wrap up the testing process, including any sanctions, before the Sochi Games, which begin February 7.
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