IOC announces 16 more positive doping tests from Beijing 2008

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Sixteen more positive doping cases from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing have been confirmed, with all but one coming from Russia or a former Soviet republic.

There are three silver and seven bronze medallists among them but no champions, although one of the 16, Russian high jumper Elena Slesarenko won an Olympic gold at the 2004 Games in Athens which she keeps as that is beyond the statute of limitations for anti-doping cases.

Once again, weightlifting dominates the list, accounting for nine of them, while athletics and wrestling make up the rest. Almost all of the positive tests are for the anabolic steroids turinabol or stanozolol or both.

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) statement said: “The protection of clean athletes and the fight against doping are top priorities for the IOC.

“To provide a level playing field for all clean athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC put special measures in place, including targeted pre-tests and the re-analysis of stored samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, following an intelligence-gathering process that started in August 2015.”

With original bronze medallist Anna Chicherova already disqualified, the news that Slesarenko and the fifth-placed athlete in the women’s high jump, Ukraine’s Vita Palamar, have also been thrown out means American jumper Chaunte Lowe should get a medal despite finishing sixth at the time.

Among the other more notable cases are Greek triple jumper Chrysopigi Devetzi and Ukrainian pole vaulter Denys Yurchenko – both lose bronze medals. Devetzi will keep her silver medal from Athens 2004.

The three silver medallists are wrestlers Khasan Baroev from Russia and Azerbaijan’s Vitaly Rahimov, and Kazakh weightlifter Irina Nekrassova.

In total, 98 athletes were caught in the IOC’s first two waves of re-tests from Beijing and London, and the results of a third and fourth wave are still to come.

The IOC waited so long to re-analyse the stored samples from 2008 to enable it to use the latest anti-doping techniques while still staying within what was an eight-year cut-off under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s rules of the time. That statute of limitations has now been extended to 10 years.

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