31 athletes test positive for doping in Beijing Olympics re-tests

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More than 30 athletes in six sports have tested positive for doping after samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics were re-tested, officials say. Results from the 2012 and 2014 games are expected in the near future.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday that it retested 454 selected doping samples from the 2008 games, resulting in positive hits for 31 athletes from six sports. Their identities were not immediately disclosed due to legal reasons.

The 31, who represent 12 different countries, could be banned from competing at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. “The Executive Board of the IOC today agreed unanimously to initiate proceedings immediately,” the committee said in a press statement.

Results from re-testing of samples from the 2012 London Olympics are also expected in the near future, which could result in even more athletes being banned from competing in Rio. A total of 250 samples from the London games are being re-examined.

Tuesday’s news follows doping allegations against Russian athletes and the alleged tampering with samples at the laboratory that tested samples for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. As a result, the IOC has decided to re-analyze those samples as well.

“All these measures are a powerful strike against the cheats we do not allow to win. They show once again that dopers have no place to hide,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “The re-tests from Beijing and London and the measures we are taking following the worrying allegations against the Laboratory in Sochi are another major step to protect the clean athletes irrespective of any sport or any nation.”

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