How a Russian exposed London 2012 as one of the dirtiest games in history after a new sample test

Just months before the 2012 London Olympics, executives at UK Sport, the government agency responsible for funding Team GB at the Games, wondered if a special forces ‘wonder drug’ could lead athletes from the GB team to retroactively fail doping tests years after the London Olympics. had ended.

UK Sport had obtained approval from UK Anti-Doping to supply the nutritional supplement, called ketones, to Team GB athletes ahead of London 2012. Ketones were not commercially available at the time and could only be used under the guise of ‘search’. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency has reserved the right to retest samples belonging to British Olympians if the experimental substance is later banned.

Confidential board documents, obtained by The Mail on Sunday in 2020, revealed that UK Sport had continued with the secret research project, noting that the substance had not been added to the London 2012 banned list and that would be unlikely to appear in drugs. -test anyway.

Information from Grigory Rodchenkov led to a full retest of blood samples

The re-testing of samples, which was allowed for eight years after the 2012 Games – a statute of limitations now extended to 10 years – is still on the minds of athletes and authorities. You can be considered a cheater long after you collect your medal.

And the retest of samples from London 2012 was the most comprehensive yet, thanks in large part to information provided by Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov who, after leading Russia’s state-sponsored doping program, fled the country and is now a witness. protection in the United States.

Largely thanks to Rodchenkov’s evidence, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) doping control programme, along with the anti-doping efforts of other sports federations, transformed the reputation of London 2012 from being the most clean to that of dirtier.

It is now known that Russia corrupted the Games and that the weightlifting events were a doping free-for-all. One in seven of all athletics medals and 42% of all weightlifting medals won in London have now been taken away after samples collected during the games were re-analyzed using new drug-testing technology.

Team GB finished third in the Olympic medal table with 29 gold medals and 65 medals in total

Team GB finished third in the Olympic medal table with 29 gold medals and 65 medals in total

It emerged earlier this month that Nijel Amos of Botswana, who won silver behind David Rudisha in the 800 meters in London, tested positive for GW1516 – a banned substance which is not approved for use human.

In 2017, a survey by The Mail on Sunday found that one in seven of the 656 athletics finalists at London 2012 had tested positive for drugs at some point in their career. Amos’s name can now be added to this list.

Russia was stripped of 21 medals in total, five times more than any other nation. But despite all the medals that have been taken away from the athletes of the East, it is the Western countries, and the great sporting powers, whose reputation has remained intact.

The United States, China and Great Britain won 261 medals in London, but no athlete was disqualified due to retesting. In fact, excluding Russia, this applies to the top 14 nations in the London 2012 medal table. This statistical anomaly makes one wonder how willing the Olympic movement was to uncover the full extent widespread cheating at London 2012?

Nijel Amos - who won silver in the 800 meters in 2012 - tested positive for GW1516

Nijel Amos – who won silver in the 800 meters in 2012 – tested positive for GW1516

Team UK cyclists won 12 of Britain’s 65 medals in London 2012, but before the banned games testosterone was delivered to the Manchester Velodrome. Months earlier, a British cyclist had tested positive for traces of steroids.

Usain Bolt dominated the sprint events in London, but eight of Jamaica’s 21 finalists at the Games have served doping bans at some point in their careers.

Rudisha broke the 800m world record at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford but comes from a country, Kenya, where 138 athletes across all sports failed doping tests between 2004 and 2018. The US relay team 4×100 m was stripped of its silver medal in London. after Tyson Gay was banned by the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2014.

Director Danny Boyle took charge of the opening ceremony at the London Stadium in 2012

Director Danny Boyle took charge of the opening ceremony at the London Stadium in 2012

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, who won four medals in London, is currently serving his second drug ban. Between 1990 and 1998, 28 Chinese swimmers tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Yet the IOC’s reanalysis program for London 2012 could not detect a single cheater from any of these nations. The Mail on Sunday understands that the IOC has rightly relied on intelligence from reports of systemic doping in Russia and weightlifting to guide its program of new testing.

But it is unclear whether intelligence has been gathered as widely from other nations, such as Britain.

However, UK Anti-Doping admitted via a freedom of information request that they never asked the IOC for a list of Team UK athletes who were part of the retest program at London 2012.

The International Testing Agency, which now runs the IOC’s anti-doping programme, did not provide the Mail on Sunday with a full breakdown of the number of athletes, from which countries, competing in which sports, whose doping samples were retested. .

London 2012 chief medical officer and former Olympic doctor for the British team, Richard Budgett, was the IOC’s medical director throughout the London 2012 screening programme.

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