2008, 2012 medallists targeted in drug retests

LAUSANNE • Olympic medallists from the Beijing and London Games will be targeted as a priority as the reanalysis of old samples is reinforced, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.

The IOC also said its budget for anti-doping tests is being doubled to US$500,000 (S$687,685) between now and August's Olympics in Rio.

The IOC executive board, which said "the fight against doping is a top priority", is holding a series of meetings in Lausanne until today.

It said it had established a "zero-tolerance" policy in order to "protect clean athletes" in Rio.

More than 50 new doping cases have come to light so far from the reanalysis of samples from the Beijing and London Olympics.

The board said it would "not hesitate to punish anyone" within its reach involved in doping or providing doping products and methods.

"Special focus will be put on countries where the testing programme is non-compliant - Kenya, Russia and Mexico," said the IOC statement. "A special focus will also be put on those sports which Wada has declared most affected."

Russia has been at the heart of a huge doping scandal and the country's track and field athletes have been suspended pending an investigation. More than 20 of them have also tested positive in retests of samples from Beijing and London, putting their participation in Rio with a full team in doubt.

Kenya and Mexico have failed to get their doping programme in line with Wada's demands.

Kenya, a global powerhouse in middle and long-distance running, has been in the spotlight recently following allegations of widespread doping by its athletes.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2016, with the headline '2008, 2012 medallists targeted in drug retests'. Print Edition | Subscribe