The Sunday Leader

Thirty Barred From Winter Olympics After Doping Tests

Wada Chief John Fahey

Over 30 athletes have been prevented from competing at the Winter Olympics for breaking drugs rules, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has confirmed.
Wada Chief John Fahey refused to give details of those involved but said the sports or national federations were handling recent cases.
“It is more likely athletes who seek to cheat at these Games will be caught than in any other Games in our history. Those that wish to take the risk are likely to be caught,” Fahey said.
Fahey insisted testing procedures were improving, saying 70 athletes were blocked from taking part in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
“We are getting better as time goes by through a number of methods. We’re smarter now than we were a year ago and I believe we’ll continue to improve,” he said.
UK Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe this week welcomed the stringent drug testing of every British athlete competing at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) pledged to test each Team GB athlete at least once before the Games begin.
Sutcliffe said: “We want to lead the world in anti-doping. We have the team and infrastructure to make that happen. Athletes and fans must be confident that sport is clean and that everything is being done to catch drug cheats.”
On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee reprimanded Russian women’s hockey player Svetlana Terenteva for an anti-doping rule violation.
A urine sample supplied by Terenteva tested positive for tuaminoheptane, a nasal decongestant which could act as a stimulant.
The IOC did not suspend Terenteva as she admitted using the drug and did so at a time when it was not prohibited. Additionally, the disciplinary committee ruled, it would be out of her system well before her first match today (14).
Olympic officials are braced for more doping controversies in Vancouver and are planning on conducting a minimum of 2,500 tests during the in-competition period, which runs from February 4-28.
There were two positive tests out of the 1,500 conducted at the 2006 Games in Turin – Russia’s Olga Pyleva was stripped of her 15km biathlon silver medal while Brazil bobsledder Armando dos Santos tested positive before the Olympics started.
Italian police also seized doping products in a raid on the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team lodgings.
There have been 13 official positive tests in 11 Games where testing has taken place, with seven coming in Salt Lake City in 2002, according to IOC statistics.
Every athlete at the Olympics can be tested at any time, including players from America’s National Hockey League, whose testing procedures have been criticised as being too weak by the World Anti-Doping Authority.
Every medallist will also automatically be forced to undergo a test.
All samples will be kept for eight years, following the success of retroactive tests after the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, which caught five athletes including Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi, who was stripped of his 1500m gold medal.
Ukad chair David Kenworthy said: “Our work with athletes leading into both the Winter Olympics and Paralympics is evidence that we have hit the ground running.
“We look forward to playing a lead role in protecting the right of athletes to compete in doping-free sport.”

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