Some Olympic athletes may have to put their travel plans to Rio on hold.
More than two dozen athletes could be barred from competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics after retesting of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics turned up positive.
The International Olympic Committee announced the news on Tuesday, and also said that more positive cases “could emerge” from testing done from samples for the 2012 London Olympics. The IOC said that 31 athletes across six different sports served up positive tests, but no names were released.
IOC say 31 athletes from six sports have tested positive in re-tests of samples from 2008 Beijing Olympics #SSNHQ
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 17, 2016
The organization said that disciplinary cases have been opened on the positive samples and that they were found in a “retesting of 454 doping samples” using “the very latest scientific analysis methods.” The IOC said that the athletes that tested positive will be banned from competing in Rio, and that 250 samples from London also will be retested.
Doping has become a major story ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics—the news about the samples comes just a week after The New York Times reported that “dozens” of Russian athletes used steroids at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, including gold medal winners. The former head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, said that there was a sophisticated, state-sponsored doping program during the Sochi Games.
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) May 12, 2016
Now, after the retesting of samples, numerous athletes could be barred from competing in 2016.
“The aim is to stop any drugs cheats coming to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” the IOC said in a press release.