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17 Feb 2012
IOC News

Turin retests, Innsbruck doping samples given all clear

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today that doping samples from the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games that were retested to check for the use of the drug Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator (CERA) had come back negative.

The IOC decided to retest the samples, which are stored for eight years after each Games, when it was informed of concerns by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2010 that CERA could have been used by athletes already at the time of the Games in Turin.

Initial tests had not included an analysis for CERA in the absence of a validated method for doing so at the time of the 2006 Games.

“Storing samples for eight years after a Games for possible further testing underscores the IOC's commitment in its fight against doping,” said IOC Medical Commission Chairman Arne Ljungqvist. “We are pleased with the negative results, but this will not prompt us to let up in our efforts to stamp out cheating in sport.”

CERA is a form of erythropoietin (EPO), a drug that boosts production of red blood cells and, consequently, oxygen uptake. It came to prominence in 2008 when a number of cyclists tested positive for the substance during that summer’s Tour de France, prompting the retesting of blood samples stored from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

In a separate development, all samples from the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games also came back negative. Nearly 300 urine and blood tests were analysed by a WADA-accredited laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria.

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