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IOC medical chief delievers further warning to drug cheats

English.news.cn   2014-02-15 19:51:16

SOCHI, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The IOC delievered further warning on Saturday to athletes that new powers allowing anti-doping bodies to test athletes' blood and urine for 10 years will catch drug cheats "sooner or later".

Arne Ljungqvist, the IOC medical commission chairman, said: "The message to the athletes is that if you cheat, if you take drugs, if we don't find you now we may find you later and we will certainly find you sooner or later. That is an important deterrent message."

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games are the first to to be subject to the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) statute of limitations, extending the period of time samples are stored and available for testing from eight to 10 years.

The change allows for retrospective testing to take advantage of new technology that can test for drugs that doping authorities are currently unable to detect.

"The code that will come into effect from 1 January 2015 allows for a 10-year statute of limitation, and we will exercise that as from now," Ljungqvist told a press conference.

"There might be substances around on the occasion of, say, an Olympic Games, that we were not aware of or that may not yet have been officially on the market and for which we had not yet then developed the necessary methodology at the time of the Games.

"That is one reason as to why we would like to be able to go back, once methods have been developed for substances that may have been there but we didn't have the method for."

Ljunqvist confirmed samples collected at Sochi 2014 would be retrospectively tested for human growth hormone (HGH) once the latest test for HGH has been approved.

Sochi 2014 is undertaking the most stringent anti-doping program at an Olympic Winter Games, with 14 per cent more tests than Vancouver 2010.

So far, authorities have carried out more than two-thirds of planned doping tests (1799 out of a proposed 2453) and no athletes have tested positive for a banned substance.

Around half of Sochi 2014 tests are taking place outside of events in pre or post-competition periods.

Editor: Yang Yi
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