Scientists in Cologne and Moscow have recently been testing frozen urine samples for steroids using a new testing method called the ‘long-term metabolites method’, which can detect the use of steroids more than six months after they were taken. According to scientists, hundreds of samples are testing positive. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that the process [retests] has begun with urine samples taken from athletes in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
Arne Ljungqvist, the chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, said he was surprised by the high number of positive cases and would be recommending that urine samples frozen from previous Olympic Games should be retested.
“This case is a good example of the necessity of performing retests on Olympic doping samples,” said Ljungqvist. “I would certainly conduct retests here. We have the mandate for that, after all.”
Grigory Rodchenkov, head of the Moscow laboratory, told the TV programme: “With this detection method, a hundred urine samples have now tested positive that would previously have turned up negative.”
A similar story was reported in Cologne, where scientists have uncovered a glut of positive cases, including more than a hundred involving stanozolol.
Cologne laboratory analyst Hans Geyer said: “By my count, we have hundreds of positive cases that we would otherwise never have found.”
“With these improved procedures, it will definitely be possible to isolate positive cases in high-risk sports,” he said.