IOC Orders Doping Tests of all Beijing 2008 Blood Samples | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.10.2008
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IOC Orders Doping Tests of all Beijing 2008 Blood Samples

The IOC announced it will re-test all frozen samples from the 2008 Olympics as a string of doping cases in cycling unveiled riders making use of a new generation of performance enhancing drugs.

A needle going into a person's arm

Blood samples from the 2008 Summer Games will be retested for a new doping drug

All blood samples taken during the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing will be re-tested using new methods to detect performance-enhancing drugs, the IOC announced on Wednesday, Oct. 8.

"The IOC intends to retest the samples collected this summer during the Olympic Games in Beijing," IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau told the German news agency dpa. "Substances that will be tested for across all sports include EPO CERA."

Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator, a new generation of doping drug that improves blood's oxygen delivery system.

The IOC's move comes after a series of doping tests carried out on blood samples frozen after this summer's Tour de France came back positive. German IOC Vice-President Thomas Bach said the string of doping cases in men's road racing could put the sport's position as an Olympic event at risk.

Olympic cycling ban possible

Stefan Schumacher

France's anti-doping agency confirmed two of Schumacher's samples were positive

"An Olympic break must be considered if those involved don't make a joint effort against doping," Bach told dpa on Tueseday. "The credibility of cycling is at zero. The riders have not used their chance for change."

The statement came after revelations that German rider Stephan Schumacher and Italy's Leonardo Piepoli tested positive for the third generation of the blood booster EPO at the Tour de France in July.

The head of Schumacher's Gerolsteiner team, Hans-Michael Holczer, said on Monday he was informed by Tour boss Christian Prudhomme that a retest of Schumacher's samples for CERA was positive.

The German cycling federation BDR and the anti-doping agency NADA have launched investigations into the doping claims. Schumacher, who has been linked with performance-enhancing drug use in the past, faces a two-year ban if he is found guilty of a doping offence.

Suspicious samples retested

Cyclists riding over a double white line on the road

More and more cyclists are being shown to have crossed the doping line

Retests were conducted on riders who returned abnormally high blood readings during this year's Tour. Seven other riders are reportedly still awaiting their fate.

Saunier Duval's Piepoli and Riccardo Ricco also tested positive for CERA, the French anti-doping agency AFLD said earlier this week.

Both men were kicked out of this summer's Tour de France. Piepoli is due to appear at an Italian Olympic Committee hearing on Friday, and Ricco has been banned for 20 months.

Along with Schumacher, the three riders combined for five stage wins at the 2008 Tour, with Schumacher winning both time trials.

IOC boss Jacques Rogge told dpa earlier this year that cycling's place at the Olympics was not endangered as long as the sport fought doping in an efficient way.

The DOSB general secretary Michael Vesper said that cycling was committing suicide and there were also suggestions that the body would sue Schumacher for the money the country spent on him to send him to the Olympics.

Also on Tuesday, German state networks ARD and ZDF were debating whether to continue Tour de France broadcasts in the future in the wake of the latest cases. ARD and ZDF last year terminated their broadcasts during the Tour after several doping cases.

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