News agencies report today that several 2008 Beijing Olympians tested positive for doping. (NBC) A cyclist from Italy -- Davide Rebellin -- was named. Also interesting was unnamed male track gold medal winner. Appears CERA-EPO was the culprit.
The person tells The Associated Press the tests nabbed three track and field athletes, two cyclists and one weightlifter.
The person also says one of the track and field athletes is a male gold medalist. The other medalist was in cycling.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the names haven’t been officially released by the International Olympic Committee.
The Italian Olympic Committee says one of the six was an Italian athlete. The Italian news agency ANSA identified him as cyclist Davide Rebellin, silver medalist in the road race.
Unnamed male track gold medalist. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Any guesses? CNN reports 7 positive tests from 6 athletes; one doper was a double winner.
A total of 948 samples were analyzed, with seven tests, from six athletes, coming back as positive.
The IOC announcement didn't identify the six athletes, who each failed a newly-designed test for CERA, an endurance booster. They are being notified through the governing bodies of their sports. CERA, which stands for continuous erythropoietin receptor activator, is an advanced version of erythropoietin, which increases the development of red blood cells, bringing more oxygen to the muscles.
The IOC's anti-doping rules allow for the storing of samples for up to eight years so athletes tempted to cheat know that they may test positive even if the anti-doping technology hasn't yet caught up to cutting-edge doping products and techniques. The testing took place in accredited laboratories in Switzerland, France, and Germany, and targeted samples from athletes in cycling, rowing, swimming and track and field.
The IOC said it tested a total of 948 samples after developing new tests for CERA and insulin, the diabetes treatment that has some performance-enhancing properties. The insulin re-test, performed on 101 urine samples, didn't result in any positives. But the CERA test identified seven positives for six athletes.