Olympics

Should the IOC Reduce the 10-Year Retesting Window?

A big sports story from today — probably the biggest — is Usain Bolt and the rest of the men’s Jamaican 4×100 relay team getting stripped of its gold medal from the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing because Nesta Carter’s doping retest came back positive.

Why so long? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has provisions in place that allow for athlete samples to be retested using updated techniques for up to 10 years after an Olympic Games has ended. Beijing was 9 years ago this summer.

Honestly, I believe the IOC should stop retesting after one Olympiad (4-year period) has passed. You need the retests as part of the hope to have clean sport and fair contests. But after so many years go by, what good do the retests do?

Does the public really care so long after the fact? In addition, the window for athletes in Olympic-centric sports is so small that the ship has long sailed for the “rightful” medal winners to capitalize. Also, though I understand getting the medal might still be special to some, for others it may unnecessarily open up some wounds for those who have made peace with the results.

On a practical level, it doesn’t make much sense after the next Olympics has been contested to go back.

Featured Image Credit: Mondo Worldwide

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