SALT LAKE CITY – Less than one percent of 3,639 athletes tested in the last 13 months had banned drugs in their system, according to data released Friday by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
WADA released the names of the 16 athletes – eight winter sports competitors, eight summer, and none American – who have been sanctioned since the start of 2001 because they tested positive in out-of-competition tests. Seven of the eight winter athletes – four Finnish skiers, an Italian snowboarder, a Polish bobsledder, and a Russian skier – are banned from competing at this month’s Games.
The eighth, Latvian bobsledder Sandis Prusis, had his ban overturned by an arbitration panel. One other winter athlete, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund, also tested positive, for the diuretic acetazolamide. But it was discovered he had taken the drug for legitimate medical purposes, to help him recover from eye surgery. However, since he had not informed officials he was taking the drug beforehand, he received a formal warning. He will be allowed to play for Team Sweden.
Four other summer sports athletes have tested positive and have their cases currently pending before their sports’ international federations. Two of those four are unidentified American gymnasts who tested positive for marijuana.