“I’ve said that we could expect between 30 and 40 positive cases [during the Games],” said International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge. “That is the extrapolation of the figures from Athens…If we have less, we must be extremely glad because that will mean that there has been a deterrent effect.
“Am I disappointing that there is still doping? Of course, I am. I hate doping. But we have to be realistic. It would be wrong to be Utopians. Doping is to sport what criminality is to society and there will always be criminality in society.”
The XXIV Olympiad had yet to begin and a Spanish cyclist Maria Isabel Moreno was notified that she had tested positive for EPO and officially became the first athlete to be kicked out of the Beijing Games for alleged doping. According to experts, there will most certainly be other athletes who are caught and sent home over the next few weeks. Dr. Jack Taunton, who is over in Beijing working with the International Olympic Committee, sends word that the doping control operation set up by the Chinese is very well run and professionally staffed. They are expecting to conduct approximately 4,500 tests with a budget of $10 million dollars.
Anti-doping pioneer Don Caitlin, who founded the first US Anti-Doping Lab in Los Angeles, says in an article that appears in Chemical & Engineering News “It is hard to find drug cheats. Drug users and their assistants are working around the clock to beat analytical scientists,” he says. The difficulty is in identifying custom-synthesized “designer” drugs, because analytical instruments aren’t set up to detect them. In fact, it took a sample sent to anti-doping officials by an anonymous coach for Catlin and his associates at the UCLA lab to identify the tetrahydrogestrinone dispensed to Marion Jones and other athletes by the now-infamous Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.
Other experts agree and even though the doping control statistics do not support this, they believe that drug misuse in sports is astonishingly high and escalating. An issue that VANOC will assuredly be paying close attention to.
Read more here in an excellent article from the Boston Globe on how Olympic officials acknowledge that the reality is the Games may never be clean.
Read the full Chemical & Engineering News article mentioned above here.