Ukrainian Open Water Swimmer Olga Beresnyeva Tests Positive From 2012 London Games

The International Olympic Committee showed some teeth in its extended doping testing process as the IOC retroactively disqualified Ukrainian open water swimmer Olga Beresnyeva from the 2012 London Olympics after a doping retest came up positive for EPO.

The IOC keeps Olympic samples for 10 years following the games, and retests them as new testing methods are discovered.

The IOC has now stripped Beresnyeva of her seventh-place finish in the 10K Olympic race from 2012.

Full IOC Release:

During further analyses conducted earlier this year on samples collected during London 2012, Beresnyeva, 29, was found to have tested positive for the presence of recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO). These additional analyses were performed with improved analytical methods in order to detect prohibited substances which could not be identified with the analyses performed at the time (2012).

The IOC Disciplinary Commission, composed for this case of Denis Oswald (Chair), Gunilla Lindberg and Claudia Bokel, decided the following:

I. The Athlete, Ms Olga Beresnyeva, Ukraine, Swimming:

(i) is disqualified from the women’s 10km open water marathon event of the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London in 2012, where she placed 7th;

(ii) is excluded from the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London in 2012;

(iii) shall have her diploma from the above event withdrawn.

II. The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) is requested to modify the results of the above-mentioned event accordingly and to consider any further action within its own competence.

III. The National Olympic Committee of Ukraine shall ensure full implementation of this decision.

IV. This decision shall enter into force immediately.

The full decision is available here.

Under the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Olympic Games London 2012, testing took place under the IOC’s auspices from 16 July (date of the opening of the Olympic Village) to 12 August 2012. Within that period, the IOC systematically performed tests before and after events. After each event, the IOC carried out tests on the top five finishers plus two at random. The IOC also performed unannounced, out-of-competition tests. Over the course of the London Games, the IOC carried out 5,062 tests – 4,005 urine and 1,057 blood. For more information, please consult the IOC factsheet on anti-doping.

The IOC has made the protection of clean athletes a top priority in Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement that was approved by the IOC Session in December 2014. As part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, the IOC is using USD 10 million to support projects offering a new scientific approach to anti-doping. Three projects supporting innovative research have already been approved, while 12 governments have promised to contribute an additional USD 5.9 million.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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