Olympic Drug Test Failures. 23 Athletes From 2012 Olympics Fail Testing.

The 2012 London Olympics were thought to be the cleanest games yet, despite one man’s 2012 accusation that nearly 60% are misusing drugs. As the Daily Mail reported, “Victor Conte, jailed in the United States for his role in  supplying athletes such as Dwain Chambers and Marion Jones with so-called designer drugs, told The Times that six out of 10 athletes at the Games are taking banned substances.” Unfortunately, new drug test failures of 2012 Olympic athletes begs the question, just how prevalent is drug use in the Olympics?

Based off new knowledge, the IOC just retested urine samples of some of the 2012 athletes and results showed more abuse of drugs than originally thought. 265 urine samples of athletes who participated in the 2012 Olympics and will also participate in the Rio Olympics have been retested, with 23 failing. These 23 athletes come from six different countries and five different sports, although names have not yet been released. These 23 athletes have now been banned from any future participation within the Olympics in the future.

Spokespeople for the International Olympics Committee say that this sends a strong message to any athletes who want to misuse drugs that they will be caught, even if it’s not immediate, they won’t get away with it. Although 23 drug failures is a poor show, some spokespeople, such as Sebastian Coe, believe this is significantly lower than the estimated 50, and does prove that the Olympic games are becoming cleaner than they ever have before.

The International Olympics Committee also retested 454 urine samples of athletes from the Beijing Olympics with new technology that wasn’t available at the time, and found that 31 failed from six sports, so it does prove the numbers, although small, do seem to be decreasing.

Overall, it’s great that these 23 athletes have been caught and punished for cheating, but with more than 10,000 athletes who competed in the 2012 Olympics, if 23 failed the urine test out of a sample so small, it begs the question how many more cheated once you account for the 9,000 plus additional competitors whose urine wasn’t tested again.

We can only hope that every athlete abusing drugs is caught cheating and punished for their actions, because showing their are both health and professional sport consequences is the only way we’ll be able to eradicate the misuse of drugs among athletes. The Olympics are a great time for the world to band together and participate in friendly competition, despite what else in the world may be going on, but athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs destroy the integrity of the Olympics and send the wrong message to youth athletes. Hopefully, these recent drug testing failures sends a message to other athletes that they will be caught and thus drugs are not worth the risk.

Lauren von Bernuth