Paralympic athletes banned and fined for doping offences

Published 24 September 2012

Three Paralympic powerlifting athletes tested positive for human growth hormones prior to the London Paralympic games. The athletes, two from Russia and one from Georgia, were tested as part of the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) most efficient and effective testing regime ever implemented at a Paralympic games. Each athlete has received a two year ban and £1200 fine for the offences.

Two of the athletes involved were able to compete but were disqualified once their samples were confirmed. None of the athletes involved were medal winners at the games. The significance of these positive samples is that the drug involved has been virtually untraceable in the past. The new technique traces unnatural growth over a period of weeks as opposed to immediately, therefore identifying drug use that would not be apparent in a single test.

The IPC has followed the IOC in implementing the most rigorous testing programme in games history, using the latest technology and techniques available to catch and deter potential drug cheats before they compete. The quick suspensions and subsequent bans meant that disruption to the events was kept to a minimum. The athletes may have a right to appeal up to the CAS, however the reliability of the testing methods would mean any appeal would likely be limited to the length of the ban.