The re-testing of thousands of doping samples from the Olympic Games in Beijing will start after Christmas, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced in Lausanne.
Patrick Schamasch, medical director of the IOC, said that results could be expected at the end of the first quarter, according to the German cycling federation's website, rad-net.de.
The re-testing will focus on EPO CERA, a blood booster, as well as insulin. CERA has become quite the talk in cycling, after several riders have been caught with it. Those riders include Riccardo Riccò, Bernhard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher. The latter denies the doping charges.
Samples will be examined in labs in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Cologne, Germany. Schamasch emphasised that there was no test available for either CERA or insulin, during the Olympics.
In Beijing, 5,000 doping tests were performed, of which 1,000 were blood controls. There were some problems with the lab in China during the Games, as despite an arrangement, no international observers were allowed. One positive test sample submitted was not recognised as a positive by the lab, according to rad-net.de.
Half of the national teams also did not participate in the whereabouts system, which made surprise doping controls extremely difficult. It was also reported that about 300 samples simply disappeared.