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Athletes Risk Positive Tests for Eight Years

All blood and urine samples taken from athletes at these Games will be stored for eight years, giving anti-doping authorities a chance to re-examine samples as new tests are developed, World Anti-Doping Agency and Olympic officials said.

"There is a permanent threat for athletes that use a drug that might not be detectable because we can come back in the future," International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said.

Anti-doping authorities also stored samples from the 2004 Summer Games, but no belated positives emerged from those Olympics.

Had the approach been in place at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Marion Jones would have been caught. When anti-doping scientist Don Catlin quietly discovered the steroid norbolethone in 2002, he wanted to test samples from Sydney but was disappointed to learn they had all been thrown away.

Jones later admitted using norbolethone during the Sydney Games, and also the steroid THG.

World Anti-Doping Agency Chair John Fahey repeatedly declined to discuss the anti-doping case involving seven Russian athletes who have been accused by the world track and field federation (IAAF) of systematic doping. He said it would be inappropriate to comment until the case had been resolved. The IAAF banned seven Russians from competing here after a year-long investigation revealed they had allegedly supplied urine that wasn't their own in tests.

Fahey also claimed tests for human growth hormone were now widely available--a production issue had limited the ability of testers to use the test widely for years--and said "significant developments" in the test itself provided an increased window for detection. Fahey declined to say what the window was, saying he didn't want to tip off cheating athletes. The test has been criticized in the past for having a detection window of only 24-48 hours. Though it's been in use sporadically for four years, it has never caught any athletes.

By Amy Shipley  |  August 7, 2008; 5:04 AM ET
Categories:  Doping  
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Congrats to the WADA, that time at least the lame cheaters will get caught and humiliated afterward.

Posted by: Sensi23 | August 15, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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