The IOC has announced that it is going to retest all of the samples collected from the Olympic games in the wake of the positive tests found by the Tour de France for the latest version of EPO, Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator. CERA is a stamina boosting drug which was not detectable until recently. It increases the number of red blood cells produced by bone marrow, but lasts longer and requires fewer injections than older forms of EPO.

Christiane Ayotte“There will most definitely be some athletes who thought they could escape being caught because they thought the test would not be ready,” said Christiane Ayotte, director of a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory outside Montreal. “We knew it came to the market just before springtime last year and if there were positives in the Tour de France, then we think there will be positives from Beijing.

“Why the technique was not put into place in Beijing, I have no answer to give you,” she said. “But we’re not missing anything. The opportunity to have those samples retested one or two months later is great.”

The President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, is planning on making retroactive tests a normal part of the Olympic Games in an effort to discourage doping in the future. The statute of limitations states that an athlete can be found guilty of doping for up to 8 years following an athletic contest.

Christiane Ayotte is positive that there will be more cheats found from the Beijing Games, which is a very cynical point of view that I’m afraid will turn out to be the correct one. There were only 9 positive tests out of 5000, which is less than 0.2% coming positive at the games.

(More Info: NY Times – Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian)