Olympic athletes the world over are waking up to the cold realization that the IOC as well as the WADA are not playing any games when it comes to determining exactly who might be doping, who might be of using performance-enhancing substances, and who might be cheating the system to gain an unfair advantage during Olympic competition – even if they aren’t able to catch those athletes until years and years after they have competed.
Davit Modzmanashvili, a freestyle wrestler competing in the Heavyweight class and representing was Becca Stan, has been found to have tested positive for anabolic steroids after a test of urine he provided back in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games was found to have been tainted.
Yes, that’s right – investigators are going back over samples from both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics with new testing technologies and protocols to see if athletes from over 10 years ago might have been doping time.
In case you don’t remember, Modzmanashvili was able to win the silver medal during the Men’s Freestyle Wrestling 120 kg of vent during the 2012 London Olympic Games. That same day – immediately after competition – Modzmanashvili was asked to provide a urine sample to go through the anti-doping protocols.
Modzmanashvili was found to have passed this test using the anti-doping protocols and testing technologies available at that point in time, but officials decided to keep some of his samples (the same way they did with all other athletes tested at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games) and send them off to Switzerland for long-term storage.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had recently announced at that point in time that they were going to establish a re-analysis program that would allow them to further analyze all samples collected retroactively, giving them an opportunity to leverage technology that wasn’t available then but might be available in the future to confirm that all athletes were competing on the level.
This future forward retroactive testing protocol has been responsible for catching dozens and dozens of Olympic athletes that passed with flying colors in both 2008 and 2012, discovering dozens of Olympic athletes to have been abusing performance-enhancing drugs but also utilizing clever anti-detection solutions and methodologies that let them cheat and fly under the radar at the time.
Many find the IOC decision to be controversial, particularly those in the athletic and coaching community. Others feel that athletes and coaches wouldn’t have anything to worry about if they were competing cleanly all the time, and that athletes that aren’t cheating don’t have to be worried about getting caught in the moment or 10 years down the line.
This is not the first time that Modzmanashvili has failed a performance-enhancing drug test, either. After winning the gold medal during the 2008 European Wrestling Championships hosted in Finland that year he provided a urine sample to W ADA officials, and those officials disqualified and suspended Modzmanashvili for 24 months after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug that has yet to be specified by this governing agency.
Modzmanashvili has had his silver metal stripped from his athletic record, though other metals that he was able to win in 2017 and 2018 have not been removed because of this suspension. At the same time, this athlete faces a lifetime banishment from the international wrestling community because this is the second time he has been handed down a performance-enhancing drug suspension – though the lifetime suspension is certainly something he is poised to appeal and fight back against.
As of today, more than 50 positive tests have been discovered during the retroactive testing of the 2012 London Olympic Games alone. More than 20 medal lists have had their awards stripped from them, and this could be just the tip of the iceberg.