23 athletes competing at Rio Olympics fail London 2012 drugs retest
– Ben Rumsbey & Ben Bloom
The London Olympics were in danger of being branded the dirtiest Games in history on Friday night after it was revealed that upwards of 60 athletes who took part may have been on drugs.
The memory of Britain’s greatest sporting summer, hailed at the time as the best Olympics ever staged, was further tarnished by the damning results of doping tests carried out using the latest scientific methods on samples taken during London 2012.
A total of 23 athletes were facing having their results wiped out from the Games, on top of the 39 who had already seen theirs annulled for drug offences.
The International Olympic Committee, which had predicted five years ago that London would be “the cleanest possible Games”, also warned there were more positive tests to come, with yesterday’s results having come exclusively from athletes expected to compete at Rio 2016.
The targeted retests of urine and blood from London 2012 focused on 265 samples, which saw competitors from five sports and six countries caught having used performance-enhancing substances. All of them were facing being banned from August’s Games.
At least 8.7 per cent of samples tested were positive, calling into question predictions before London that less than half a per cent of the 10,500 competitors would resort to cheating.