A technician holds a test tube with a blood sample at the Russian anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
Olympic history could be rewritten as sports officials have re-tested urine samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and found more than 75 athletes to be guilty of doping. Most are from Russia and Eastern European countries. At least 40 won medals. The number will go up as disciplinary proceedings continue.
The International Olympic Committee has so far announced 28 athletes guilty and re-awarded their medals.
"This completely rewrote my Olympics story,"said ChauntéLowe, an American high jumper who participated in four Summer Games but had never won a medal but now will receive a bronze medal for the 2008 Olympics.
Accompanying the joy of her belated recognition, she said, was an awareness of the losses she's suffered. In 2008, her husband was laid off. The couple's house in Georgia was foreclosed on that year, something Lowe said she believes would not have happened had she distinguished herself in Beijing.
"The numbers are just impossible, incredible," said Gian-Franco Kasper, an executive board member of the International Olympic Committee. "We lose credibility."
It is standard practice for Olympic officials to store urine samples for up to a decade so they may conduct additional tests if they obtain new information. While the first wave of retests began last year, the longtime director of Russia's antidoping laboratory described an elaborate doping program, and nearly a third of Russia's Olympic team was barred from the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.