LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The IOC is “very concerned” about claims that the new sample bottles for the Pyeongchang Olympics can be opened, and one national anti-doping agency has said it will stop using them.
The doping bottles were introduced last year to increase security after investigators found Russians were able to surreptitiously open bottles at the Sochi Olympics and exchange dirty urine samples with clean ones previously provided the same athlete.
However, the World Anti-Doping Agency is now examining the new bottles after receiving reports from a laboratory that the bottles can be opened manually when frozen.
The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday in a statement it is “very concerned about this issue” and has asked WADA to ensure the integrity of testing in Pyeongchang.
“From the moment we learned about it, we immediately turned to WADA and asked them to ensure that the anti-doping tests in Pyeongchang can be conducted in a credible and reliable way,” the IOC said. “WADA informed us that they were in contact with the bottle manufacturer Berlinger. We have full confidence in WADA that they will find a solution for this issue.”
Peter Strom, the acting manager of the Swedish Sports Confederation’s anti-doping department, said his organization has stopped using the new bottles.
“Unfortunately, our own tests showed that it is possible to open the container for urine samples after they have been frozen without leaving any visible traces of manipulation,” Strom told Swedish broadcaster SVT. “Because of that we will stop all use of these bottles in our tests until further notice.”