IOC warns cheats will be unmasked

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials warned would-be dope cheats Tuesday that they will be uncovered, even if it takes nearly eight years of advances in dope testing to reveal their shame.

"I'm confident cheats who appear here will be identified, sooner or later," said IOC medical chairman Arne Ljungqvist.

"Athletes considering using such substances should know that we will be testing samples years later. If you get free today, you may be identified tomorrow."

A total of 420 doping tests - none positive - had been processed through Monday at the new state-of-the-art Vancouver Winter Olympics laboratory where more than 2,000 samples - 1,600 urine and 400 to 500 blood - will be analyzed.

Between 80 to 100 tests will be conducted each day with plans for the results to be known within 24 hours. A staff of 35 scientists is working around the clock in the laboratory.

"We have a laboratory with all the sensitivity and specificity that would ensure the IOC the testing will be of the highest level possible," Vancouver lab chief Christiane Ayotte said. "We've done the best that could be done."

Samples can be stored and re-examined for eight years, allowing for test advancements that can catch cheats years later.

"We're in no hurry, but the sooner the better when you identify a cheat," Ljungqvist said. "Unfortunately, there are people who like to take a chance."

Vancouver test data will be given to global sport federations to help form athlete biological "passport" data for future consideration.

Ljungqvist does not foresee a doping violation during the Games due to incompatible data but does not rule out Games data revealing a violation in time.

"That's just part of the reality today but we have eight years at our disposal," he said.

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