Inside the Games

Up to 31 athletes from six sports could be banned from Rio 2016 after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) retested doping samples from the 2008 Games in Beijing.

The tests focused on those who could potentially appear in the Brazilian city and used the latest scientific methods.

A special meeting of the IOC Executive Board (EB) was held today to discuss the issue.

“This is a powerful strike against the cheats we do not allow to win,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

In total, 454 samples were selected from the Beijing Games, with the re-tests following work with International Federations and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The EB agreed unanimously today to initiate proceedings against the 31 athletes – who come from 12 countries – immediately.

The IOC has also announced that the results of 250 retests from London 2012 will also be announced shortly.

“The aim is to stop any drugs cheats coming to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” a statement said, with no indication yet of who the athletes implicated are, or if any medals will be reallocated.

Today’s announcement could be seen as an attempt by the IOC to garner some good press following a spate of doping scandals across sport.

This month the IOC has been rocked by damning allegations about Russian interference in the doping laboratory at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

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