- (Photo: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)
Four Olympians from the 2004 Olympics have been stripped of their medals after being retested for doping.
A new report has just revealed that four Olympics athletes who competed in the 2004 Olympics have tested positive for doping. Samples provided by the athletes over eight years ago were retested and came back positive for anabolic steroids, according to Reuters.
Women's Russian shot putter Svetlana Krivelyova and discus thrower Irina Yatchenko of Belarus both lost bronze medals that they acquired while competing during their events. Belarussian hammer thrower Ivan Tsikhan also lost his silver medal, the report confirmed.
"Three-times world champion Tsikhan had also lost his bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Games but the decision was overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport because of a laboratory procedural error," Reuters reported, adding that a fifth case was under investigation.
The samples were retested using more modern methods earlier this year. The International Olympic Committee revealed that it keeps all samples for an eight year period in order to retest using new methods, or to check for previously unacknowledged drugs.
"You always want to wait until science gives you the most sensitive tests. When we retested the athletes for Athens they had undergone testing that was negative (during Athens)," IOC President Jacques Rogge told Reuters reporters.
"Since then there has been progress, we were informed about better tests and new tests. The more time you have, the bigger the chances that science will deliver better tests," he added.
26 cases of doping were revealing during the 2004 competitions, bringing the final total of doping cases to 30. Some suggested that the method of going back and testing after an eight year period was too controversial.
"If they tested negative at the time, the medal wins should not be challenged decades down the road when new and improved methods are developed," one Yahoo! user prompted.