The International Olympic Committee has begun handing out suspensions based on retests of anti-doping samples from the past two Olympics, with Ukrainian weightlifter Yulia Kalina being banned from Rio this week.
The Washington Post reports that Kalina, who won bronze in London, has been formally stripped of her Olympic medal and disqualified from competition at the Rio Olympics next month.
Retests of anti-doping samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics have turned up huge numbers of positive tests over the past few months. 23 athletes from the London Olympics alone saw their samples fail retests this year.
The IOC has authority to store anti-doping samples for a period of 10 years after each Olympics, with the ability to retest them as new and better methods arise to catch banned substances.
The Washington Post reports that 55 positive results came from retests of the 2008 and 2012 Olympics combined – 32 from 2008 and 23 from 2012. It also reports that the Russian Olympic Committee has said 22 of those cases involved Russian athletes. There has been no news as to whether any swimmers are among the new failed tests, and for the most part, the athletes’ names themselves have been kept secret. The Washington Post reports that 20 of the 55 cases involve weightlifters.
The IOC says it will announce more suspensions as each athlete goes through the suspension process, which includes hearings and the possibility to testing “B” samples for the athlete.