steroids-2008olympicsA big “OOOPS” from the anti-doping officials.

The 300 or so test results, which had initially been reported missing by a team of independent observers during their recent visit in Beijing, have been traced by the International Olympic Committee. All tested negative for prohibited compounds.

According to the AP report, the team of 10 observers had been tasked by the World Anti-Doping Agency to review the Beijing Olympics drug-testing program.  The missing test results had been included in the team’s final report to WADA.

“Once the laboratory had apparently delivered all reports to the IO (independent observer) team, it transpired that around 300 test results were missing in comparison to the doping control forms,” the WADA report said.

“Regarding the ‘300 missing tests,’ it is our understanding that there has been a communication problem between the Beijing laboratory and the IO team on the results of a number of tests,” IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said in an e-mail. “The results of these tests were communicated to the IOC by the end of August. All were negative. The results have now been transmitted to the IO team.”

Apparently, the team conferred with the IOC’s medical commission regarding said results’ status, but IOC was unable to finish processing of the lab results in time for the group’s completion of their final report last month.

The procedural lapse had put the credibility of the anti-doping program in the Beijing Olympics. Additionally, the team reported another significant loophole in IOC’s control doping process at the Beijing Olympics.  It was found out that 102 of the 205 participating countries failed to provide sports officials with whereabouts information regarding their athletes. Such information is needed to implement pre-Games and out-of-competition testing.

It was not all negative points for the IOC however. The WADA group gave their thumbs up to the increased number of overall tests (4,770), blood tests (969) and tests for EPO (817) and human growth hormone (471). The 2008 Olympics implemented the largest drug-testing program in the history of the Olympics.

Six athletes were thrown out for doping violations during the Olympics, and three other cases are still pending.

The most controversial case of doping at Beijing has been Fani Halkia, the Greek hurdler who won the gold at the at the women’s 400m hurdles at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. On August 16 at the Beijing Olympics, Halkia tested positive for the anabolic steroidss methytrienolone.

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