Doping Reanalysis

“Chronic problems with doping are threatening weightlifting’s future viability as an Olympic sport.” – The Associated Press, CBC 

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Hsu Shu-ching apologized Friday for testing positive for doping and said she is willing to accept her punishment. The 27-year-old Hsu said the banned substance was contained in a dietary supplement she took ahead of the 2017 world championships. The Taiwanese weightlifter was told of the result last year but the news was not made public until this week.

Weightlifting was put under review by the IOC in 2017 after having “at least 50 positive tests combined from the Beijing and London reanalysis.” This week, the Olympic’s executive board lifted their threat to remove weightlifting from the 2024 Paris Games after “accepting reforms in the sport.” More than 100 athletes, including dozens of medalists, have been caught in reanalysis of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics using a more sensitive test for steroids. The IOC says retests will continue until the statute of limitations applied to the 2012 Olympics is reached next year.

“The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games were termed the ‘Growth Hormone Games’ by some athletes,  while the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games were nicknamed the ‘Dirty Games,’ because of the large number of articles discussing performance enhancing drugs at the games.”Twenty-four doping violations were reported at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, twice as many as at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. By comparison, there were relatively few doping violations at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

I feel as though the athlete who successfully and honestly competed and then receives this ‘returned’ medal is stripped of it’s honor. The athlete does not receive public attention or recognition for their efforts after acquiring a ‘second-hand’ medal. Perhaps a larger punishment for the doping athlete would be to publicly apologize and present the medal themselves to their fellow athletic competitor who won honestly. The IOC should have stricter drug screening and policy before an athlete is permitted to compete and win at the Olympic games. Doping will continue to happen until a greater punishment is set and athletes are fined for their responsibilities.

Featured Image:
Taiwan’s Hsu Shu-Ching at the 2016 Olympics. Reanalysis of proved that she had doped.
(Mike Groll/The Associated Press)

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