IOC to retest all Beijing Olympics samples for CERA

October 8th, 2008 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Hamburg, Oct 8 (DPA) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will have all samples from the Beijing Olympics retested for the latest generation of the blood booster EPO CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator).”The IOC intends to retest the samples collected this summer during the Olympic Games in Beijing. Substances that will be tested for across all sports include EPO CERA,” IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) Wednesday.

“All samples are currently being repatriated to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne where Olympic samples are usually stored after the Games. The details of the retesting procedure are currently being discussed with WADA.”

The date of the retests is yet to be given.

The IOC conducted more than 5,000 doping tests around the Aug 8-24 Games in Beijing. Nine athletes were caught using forbidden substances.

The statements came two days after cyclists Riccardo Ricci, Leonardo Piepolo (both Italy) and Stefan Schumacher (Germany) were announced to have used CERA at the 2008 Tour de France, the positive tests coming in retests of the samples gathered at the July race.

It was the latest doping affair in the tainted sport of cycling and IOC vice-president Thomas Bach warned Tuesday that the sport could lose its place at the Olympics if there was no joint clean up effort.

Bach’s statements drew sharp criticism from world cycling body (UCI) supremo Pat McQuaid.

Moreau said that the UCI has the backing of the IOC.

“The IOC will continue to support the UCI - and any other international federation - as long as it is deploying meaningful and credible means and efforts to fight against doping,” said Moreau.

IOC president Jacques Rogge had struck a similar note ahead of the Beijing Games when doping offences occurred during the Tour de France.

“We feel the UCI is checking thoroughly. They are the number three federation (in the number of drug tests). It is not the UCI people who are guilty, it is the athletes who are guilty,” Rogge told DPA in July.

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