olympic-oic-steroidsAs they say, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

This seems to be the case with the anti-doping testing at the 2008 Olympics. Although the international games have already commenced and concluded in August, there are still tests being carried out by the International Olympic Committee to determine who among the participants in Beijing had used the third generation blood booster known as CERA, or continuous erythropoiesis receptor activator.

IOC president Jacques Rogge himself confirmed that the number of doping cases in this year’s Olympics is expected to climb.

“There were 39 cases before the Olympics, while there were eight cases during the Olympics and seven cases are still in the pipeline, so there could be 15 cases in total,” Rogge told Austrian news agency APA.

“But we are going ahead very carefully. I expect results in four to six weeks.”

The IOC has been implementing strict anti-doping policy to deter athletes from using anabolic steroids and other prohibited compounds. Rogge, however, emphasizes a lifetime ban for first time offenders is too harsh.

“No court in the world would approve that. Any athlete would win a civil court,” he said.
“I think doping with anabolic steroids and EPO should be followed by a four-year ban.

“But first-time offenders can’t be banned for life. Criminals are also not shot the first time they are caught.”

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics more than 5000 urine samples have been taken, including more than 1,000 blood samples.

Testing for CERA is found to be more accurate when using blood samples.

The IOC had announced in October that they are going to retest blood samples taken from the participants in Beijing. The announcement came after the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) has developed a new method to effectively test for CERA. AFLD had also implemented retroactive testing for the 2008 Tour de France blood samples.