IOC to Retest 5,000 Samples From Olympics

New drug found in Tour de France cyclists prompts probe
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2008 10:23 AM CDT
Greek hurdler Fani Halkia appeared before a prosecutor Monday, Sept. 22, to argue against the doping case that led to her expulsion from the Beijing Olympics.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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(Newser) – The International Olympic Committee will retest samples from Olympic athletes for traces of a new drug, the BBC reports. Cera, a new version of a blood-oxygen-boosting drug, was found in a second look at samples from two Tour de France cyclists this week. Olympic policy allows additional testing for 8 years after a sample is given.

The new tests are likely to cover athletes from all sports, and the head of the UK's Drug-Free Sport team says he expects more positives to show up in this round. During the Olympics, six athletes were disqualified for doping, with three other cases still pending. The Tour de France is also retesting additional samples for Cera, which increases riders' stamina.