New Round of Drug Testing Implicates Six Athletes
National sports bodies in Bahrain and Italy confirmed Wednesday that 1,500m champion Rashid Ramzi and road race silver medalist Davide Rebellin were among the six for positive for the new blood-boosting drug CERA in retests of their samples. The other four were Dominican women’s weightlifter Yudelquis Contreras, German cyclist Stephan Schumacher, Greek race walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka and Croatian 800m runner Vanja Perisic.
If their backup “B” samples also come back positive, the athletes face being disqualified, stripped of medals and banned from the next Olympics.
The six new cases bring to 15 the total number of athletes caught doping in the Beijing Olympics.
The IOC reanalyzed a total of 948 samples from Beijing after new lab tests for CERA and insulin became available following the Olympics. The testing began in January and focused mainly on endurance events in cycling, rowing, swimming and track and field.
Dominican Today said the positive test had been confirmed by the Dominican Olympic Committee and the Dominican Weightlifting Federation on Wednesday.
Contreras has denied using a banned substance to improve her performance.
The Dominican Olympic Committee says Yudelquis Contreras is one of six athletes who tested positive for CERA. It boosts endurance by increasing production of oxygen-rich red blood cells.
But the 24-year-old says she is clean.
Dominican Olympic Committee president Luis Mejia says she will be asked to undergo further testing to confirm the findings.
The Dominican Weightlifting Federation said that she underwent five drug tests before and during the Olympic Games and never tested positive.