31 Athletes Caught in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Re-Testing

31 athletes have tested positive upon a reanalysis of samples from the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The review, initiated after the found hundreds of new positive tests in a re-analysis of results from the 2006 Winter Olympics, was designed to apply new testing techniques to test for substances and methods that were undetectable in 2008, but have now become detectable.

The IOC has not released any specific athlete names, countries, or sports, but have summarized the results:

  • 31 athletes
  • 6 sports
  • 12 National Olympic Committees

The Executive Board of the IOC agreed anonymously on Tuesday to initiate proceedings immediately, with the 12 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) being notified this week. Those who are found to have infringed upon anti-doping rules as a result of the re-testing will be banned from competing at the 2016 Olympic Games, according to the IOC.

As a result of the findings, the IOC will expand their re-testing of Beijing samples to include a larger sampling of medalists, as well as expand to test medalists from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Other action taken by the IOC, as outlined by their press release:

Meeting Tuesday, the EB of the IOC has requested WADA to initiate a fully fledged investigation into allegations that testing at the Sochi Laboratory was subverted. The IOC for its part will instruct the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory, where the Sochi samples are stored for ten years, to proceed in cooperation with WADA with their analysis in the most sophisticated and efficient way possible. Also, the IOC has already requested the Russian Olympic Committee to undertake all efforts to ensure the full cooperation of the Russian side in the WADA investigation. The IOC has put its Medical and Scientific Director, who himself is an Olympic Champion, at the disposal of the WADA investigation. Based on the result of this investigation the IOC will take swift action.

“All these measures are a powerful strike against the cheats we do not allow to win. They show once again that dopers have no place to hide. The re-tests from Beijing and London and the measures we are taking following the worrying allegations against the Laboratory in Sochi are another major step to protect the clean athletes irrespective of any sport or any nation. We keep samples for ten years so that the cheats know that they can never rest,” said the IOC President, an Olympic Gold Medalist in Fencing himself. “By stopping so many doped athletes from participating in Rio we are showing once more our determination to protect the integrity of the Olympic competitions, including the Rio anti-doping laboratory, so that the Olympic magic can unfold in Rio de Janeiro.”

Further IOC actions:

• The IOC is funding the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to carry out intelligence-gathering to make testing in the lead-up to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as efficient and independent as possible. Out-of-competition testing during the Olympic Games will also be guided by this intelligence group from WADA, to make it more targeted and more effective.

• In March of this year, the International Olympic Committee decided to make sanctions at the Olympic Games independent from the IOC. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will handle cases from the Olympic Games Rio 2016 onwards. The CAS Anti-Doping Division will replace the IOC Disciplinary Commission to hear and decide on doping cases at the Olympic Games, as well as the subsequent re-analysis of samples taken at the Games.

• At the fourth Olympic Summit in October 2015, the Olympic Movement asked the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to propose a solution to make to make all anti-doping testing independent from sports organisations, to avoid any perceived conflict of interest. A working group consisting of representatives of ASOIF, AWOIF, WADA and the IOC was set up to study the feasibility and terms of reference of the proposal of independent testing.

• The IOC set up a twenty million US dollar fund to protect the clean athletes. Ten million US dollars is being used to develop a robust education and awareness programme on the risk of match fixing and any kind of manipulation of competition and related corruption. A further ten million is being used to support projects offering a new scientific approach to anti-doping. Through its Medical and Scientific Commission, the IOC called on researchers to apply for support and funding of athlete-centred projects, involving both science and social research. Committing 10 million US dollars to fund research pertaining to anti-doping for the protection of athletes, the strategy of this fund is to complement, but not duplicate, existing anti-doping research programmes. 12 grants have already been disbursed to support a range of research projects around the world.


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7 years ago

OK, firstly, as an Olympic swimmer, I am always deeply insulted when people are cheating, be it by doping or illegal moves in the water. And someone always seems to get away with it, which is even more insulting. So there is much to be improved on that. And regarding doping, it is like everything else: follow the money and you’ll find out why things happen like they do.
Regarding the stats posted below, there seem to be very different stats all over the net. In this case it was 2014 stats. So here’s a finding with a different opinion:
http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1024740/figures-indicate-athletics-was-sport-with-most-doping-cases-in-2014 “Broken down by country, the United States was said… Read more »

7 years ago

I just found this gem on the abc.net.au site . In 2014 WADA had a total 1, 958 positives world wide. Russia won (YAY!!) with about 147 followed by Italy & in 10th place Australia EQUALED China with 49 .(Yay we got in ! )

Yes China only 49. Brazil was less at 47 etc . USA with a massive sporting population in its 320 million ppl were even fewer .

Now I thus asketh of ye -WTF?

Just another anonymous opinion
Reply to  Gina
7 years ago

USA has more money invested both in sports and in biotechnology than most nations, so I would be extremely surprised if American dopers were caught at a similar frequency as athletes from other nations. Which seems more likely: that we don’t have our share of cheaters, or that our cheaters are using more advanced techniques/substances?

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Just another anonymous opinion
7 years ago

Ding ding ding! Or it could be even more nefarious, like Kenya.

7 years ago

I kinda think everyone of us is assisted by somethings that give us an advantage . Sometimes it is pharma -so many people of the world are denied morphine to die it is a disgrace . in my first world , my relative was offered Morphine in a Catholic hospice twice a day . (just before the tea trolley which also dispensed a tipple of your choice) .

I tend to believe we should find out what works & what does not . If WADA /IOC were really serious they would offer an Amnesty. But they are in the business of NGOs & if you haven’t noticed they are encroaching at every turn .

In the early 2000s I… Read more »

Irish Ringer
7 years ago

I remember watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary 9.79 about Ben Johnson getting caught in 1988 and during that film they mentioned how they went back and tested samples from 1984 and found a bunch of positives. The situation was similar to this in that the technology couldn’t detect it in 1984, but later they could. That was over 40 years ago and we are in the same cycle, which goes to show you that people have been able to stay one step ahead of the system all this time. Catching someone several years after the fact helps, but it doesn’t change the outcome of the event or right a wrong. A sad state of affairs.


Irish Ringer
Reply to  Irish Ringer
7 years ago

Correction…I should say 30 years ago….:)

7 years ago

Are we going to be reading something about this from the London Games in the near future too? (And yes, I’m thinking of Shiwen Ye, in particular….)

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Martinfamily
7 years ago

Haven’t linked to this gif in a while.

Reply to  Martinfamily
7 years ago

Indications are that London 2012 re-tests are either underway already or will begin when the paperwork from the Beijing re-tests starts to settle.

Victor P
7 years ago

Honestly, I think this is all show. Until there is evidence of most of these athletes being retroactively penalized (invalidating their athletic results, removing medals awarded, etc.), I won’t believe a thing they say. They’ve (IOC) already allowed for decades of results of cheaters which they refuse to bring to justice. Just a lot of talk.

7 years ago

Has there been any indication of which sports or countries are involved?

Reply to  Swammer
7 years ago

12 national committees & basically power & endurance sports so I read.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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