Olympics History Rewritten: New Doping Tests Topple the Podium
After revelations of a massive, state-run doping program in Russia, sports officials have been retesting urine samples from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, in Beijing and London. Their findings have resulted in a top-to-bottom rewriting of Olympics history.
More than 75 athletes from those two Olympics have been found, upon further scrutiny, to be guilty of doping violations. The majority are from Russia and other Eastern European countries. At least 40 of them won medals. Disciplinary proceedings are continuing against other athletes, and the numbers are expected to climb.
Anyone looking at the record books for the Beijing and London Games might think them an illusion. Medals are being stripped from dozens of athletes and redistributed to those who were deprived a spot on the podium.
“The numbers are just impossible, incredible,” Gian-Franco Kasper, an executive board member of the International Olympic Committee, said. “We lose credibility. Credibility is a major concern.”
“这数量真是太不可思议了，让人无法置信，”国际奥委会(International Olympic Committee)执行董事会成员吉安-弗朗科·卡斯珀(Gian-Franco Kasper)说。“我们失去了信誉。信誉是个很重要的问题。”
The Olympic committee announced penalties for 16 athletes last week and another 12 on Monday. Suddenly — and unceremoniously — some undecorated Olympians are inheriting medals for their performances eight years ago. Even some sixth-place finishers are discovering that they are bronze medalists.
“This completely rewrote my Olympics story,” said Chaunté Lowe, a U.S. high jumper who participated in four Summer Games but had never won a medal.
Sitting at home last week, Lowe received a curious Facebook message from a German athlete against whom she competed in 2008: “Congratulations, bronze medalist,” it read.
After three women who finished ahead of Lowe were disqualified for doping — Anna Chicherova and Yelena Slesarenko of Russia, and Vita Palamar of Ukraine — she moved up to third place.
当年成绩排在洛之前的三位女运动员相继因兴奋剂问题被取消奖牌资格——俄罗斯运动员安娜·奇切罗娃(Anna Chicherova)、叶连娜·斯列萨连科(Yelena Slesarenko)和乌克兰运动员维塔·帕拉马尔(Vita Palamar)——她的成绩由此上升到了第三位。
Accompanying the joy of her belated recognition, she said, was an awareness of the opportunity costs she suffered. In 2008, her husband was laid off. The couple’s house in Georgia was foreclosed on that year, something Lowe said would not have happened had she distinguished herself in Beijing.
“I was really young and promising at that point, and sponsors were interested in me,” Lowe, now 32, said. “A lot of interest goes away when you don’t get on that podium.”