"During the re-analysis of the stored urine samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, the laboratory found in a number of cases of athletes from a number of countries and from a number of different sports, very low levels of clenbuterol. The IOC carefully deliberated whether or not to proceed with these cases. In particular, the IOC consulted with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) who was fully involved in the decision-making process," the IOC said in a statement, as quoted by the Inside the Games website.
The clenbuterol concentrations were all below one nanogram per milliliter and the substance was likely to have originated from contaminated meat, the statement added.
WADA had made similar statements. WADA Director General Olivier Niggli told ARD that he knew about the positive results but considered clenbuterol concentrations too low and likely originating from low-quality Chinese meat.
Clenbuterol relieves nasal congestion and dilates the bronchi. It is used to treat chronic breathing disorders such as asthma. It is also considered a performance-enhancing drug which increases muscle mass and trims body fat. Clenbuterol is thus classified as an anabolic agent by the IOC and WADA.
The IOC is currently rechecking probes from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. The decision to recheck the samples came amid the Russian doping scandal, which erupted following the publication of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission report about alleged doping abuse by Russian athletes.
In January 2017, the world's top runner Bolt was stripped of the 4x100metres relay gold medal from the 2008 Games as a result of teammate Nesta Carter being disqualified for doping violations.
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