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Authorities retest past Olympic samples in crackdown on drug cheats before Rio Games

Richard Budgett

International Olympic Committee medical director Richard Budgett speaks during an interview in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 30, 2015.

(Vincent Thian / Associated Press)

Authorities have begun retesting hundreds of samples from athletes at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Games in an effort to catch cheaters who may have slipped past the technology available at those times.

The International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency announced Tuesday that they will target past Olympians likely to return for the upcoming Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. They are also focusing on specific methods of analysis that have improved in recent years.

“The aim of the program is to prevent athletes who cheated in London or Beijing, and got away with it because we didn’t have as advanced methods of analysis as we do now, from competing in Rio de Janeiro,” said Richard Budgett, the IOC’s medical and scientific director.

Results are expected within a few months.

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The IOC has also provided funding for WADA to establish a task force that will gather intelligence and recommend increased pre-competition testing for suspected athletes and countries.

“We are trying passionately to protect those clean athletes who are going to Rio 2016,” Budgett said. “And the best way to do that is to catch the cheats and deter the cheats before we get to Rio de Janeiro.”


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