From Toronto's Sunday Globe and Mail comes an interesting 'closing ceremony' on Olympic athletes and drugs:
The Vancouver Olympics are shaping up to be the cleanest in history in terms of blood doping, with only two positive tests for relatively minor offences.
The positive test results involved two hockey players — Svetlana Terenteva of Russia and Lubomir Visnovsky, a Slovakian who plays for the Edmonton Oilers. Each used cold remedies that contained drugs banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The International Olympic Committee ruled the infractions were minor and issued both only a reprimand.
Vancouver's tally of just two cases compares with seven each at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and the 2006 Games in Turin.
"I think there is some message from this minimal amount of doping infringements [and it] is that at least for those products that we are absolutely 100 per cent able to trace, there has been a deterrent effect," said IOC president Jacques Rogge. "So we see a trend there. But of course we have to be very objective. We cannot trace everything."
Coming into Vancouver, Olympic organizers promised the most stringent testing in history at a Games with 70 per cent more tests that in Turin. As of Saturday, IOC officials had conducted 2,237 tests, close to their goal of 2,500 (there are about 2,500 athletes at the Games). More than 30 athletes had been banned from the Vancouver Games in the months leading up to the Olympics, according to WADA.
Agency officials would not give a precise number or reveal the nationality of the violators. However, no Canadians were among those banned. Mr. Rogge cautioned Saturday that there could still be more positive tests from Vancouver.
WADA keeps blood and urine samples for eight years so that if a test for a certain banned substance is developed, officials can retest samples from previous competitions. Since the 2008 Olympics in China, six athletes have been banned and stripped of their medals.