SEOUL (Reuters) - Anti-doping measures for the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be the toughest of any Winter Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said on Thursday.
Bach, speaking to reporters in Seoul on a visit to check preparations for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, said the IOC would conduct more in- and out-of-competition tests for the Sochi Olympics than Vancouver 2010.
Bach’s comments come days after the IOC said it was re-testing samples from 2006 Torino Games, with an eight-year statute of limitations running out next year, and a German state television report about two doping labs finding hundreds of positive tests using new methods.
“The anti-doping test program for Sochi will be the toughest ever applied in a Winter Games,” said the German, who was elected the IOC’s ninth president in September.
“We have decided for the Sochi Games that we will increase the testing by 57 percent compared to the Vancouver Games.”
Bach said that the “rapid increase” in the number of tests underlined the IOC’s commitment to stamping out doping.
”This is the best evidence you can give for the commitment, because on the one hand, you have to express a zero tolerance policy but on the other, you also have to show this by facts.
“This is what we are doing, to increase testing programs not only by quantity but also by quality.”
Bach added that the IOC would move to strengthen testing procedures when athletes are training, as this was where the major doping problem lay.
”The tests will be even more target-oriented and there will be more according to individual profiles,“ he said. ”And there will be more tests for pre-competition, where most of the anti-doping rule violations are happening.
“This will be the toughest anti-doping program we have ever had.”
The IOC is eager to root out cheats long after Olympic Games have finished by using new methods of tracing banned substances or identifying substances that were not known at the time.
Bach said the IOC would deal appropriately with any positives from its re-tests of Torino samples.
”Since the testing is on the way, we will see the results.
“If it turns out to be positive, we will deal with it with our zero tolerance policy, which we apply in general with regards to doping tests,” he added.
Writing by Peter Rutherford; Editing by John O'Brien