The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced that four athletes who competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will be stripped of their medals after analysis of stored urine samples revealed “adverse analytical findings.”
Yuriy Bilonog, Svetlana Krivelyova, Ivan Tsikhan, and Iryna Yatchenko have all been ordered to return their medals and diplomas to the IOC “as soon as possible.” Bilonog, the Ukrainian who won the gold medal in men’s shot put, and Krivelyova, the Russian who won the bronze medal in women’s shot put, both tested positive for oxandrolone metabolite. Tsikhan, who won the silver medal in men’s hammer throw, and Yatchenko, who won the bronze medal in women’s discus throw, are both from Belarus and tested positive for methandienone metabolite. Both oxandrlone and methandienone are anabolic androgenic steroids.
In addition to these four athletes, the IOC stated that it has one case still pending.
The IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency decided to re-test “a number” of samples from the 2004 Games after targeted testing based on intelligence and new methods of detection. The committee keeps urine samples for eight years after each Olympic Games so they can be re-tested when new detection methods are discovered or when new substances are added to the list of banned substances.