'Dozens' of athletes likely banned from Rio games for doping: IOC boss

Paris (AFP) –


IOC president Thomas Bach said Wednesday that "dozens" of athletes could be banned from the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after new tests on samples from previous games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to re-examine samples from the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London games in 2012 "using the most recent scientific methods", Bach said in an opinion piece in the Le Monde daily.

"This decisive action will probably prevent dozens of athletes who have doped from competing in the Rio Olympic Games in 2016," added Bach.

The re-examination is part of widespread measures taken by sporting bodies after a wave of new doping scandals to hit international sport with Russia at the centre.

The IOC will apply a policy of "zero tolerance," Bach told Le Monde.

The committee had said on Tuesday that up to 31 athletes from 12 countries could face bans from the Rio event after new tests from the 2008 Games in Beijing.

These athletes were caught in new tests on 454 Beijing samples. Around 4,000 tests were carried out in total during those games, meaning the number of retroactive failures could well increase.

In addition, results from 250 retests on samples taken at the 2012 London Games are due "shortly," according to the IOC.