A summary of the outcomes of the IOC Re-Testing programme from 2008-2012 to date was recently released (1). Key outcomes include 104 offenses, of which 86 cases were related to the territory of the former Soviet Union. Russia lost 19 medals, Kazakhstan 9, Belarus 6, the Ukraine 5, Armenia and Moldova 2 each, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan 1 each. China lost 3 medals, Turkey 2, Cuba and Greece 1 medal. 5 athletes tested positive for both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games (2). However, it remains to be determined who has received or will receive these medals. This uncertainty is due to the fact that the responsibility for changing the results lies with the respective International Federation (IF) and the responsibility for redistributing the medals lies with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The most common scenario is that the next-placed athlete is moved up, although this can cause difficulties and there are precedents not to award these medals. In the 94 kg men's weightlifting competition in the 2012 London Olympic Games, the 5th, 8th and 9th ranked athletes, theoretically at least, remain in contention for the medal positions (3). With the present system, it is difficult to determine whether all of these potentially "eligible" athletes have undergone doping-control. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has published on its web site a list of all male and another of all female competitors who underwent doping control in 2012 Olympic Games and this data reveals the originally 9th and now 3rd position athlete was subject to doping control at the 2012 Olympic Games (4). Nevertheless, there is the theoretical possibility that the re-distribution of Olympic medals could lead to non-tested athletes becoming holders of medals.
Bibliographical noteThis is not the final version. The final published version can be found at doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000406
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- School of Sport and Health Sciences - Professor of Sport and Exercise Science
- Centre for Stress and Age-Related Disease
- Sport and Exercise Science and Sports Medicine Research and Enterprise Group