(CNN) – The field of Olympic athletes in Rio just got thinner. The international Olympic committee announcing it has re-tested samples from hundreds of athletes who competed in the 2008 games in Beijing and found that 31 of them contained banned substances.
The unnamed athletes from 12 countries and 6 sports will be, “banned from competing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” reads an I.O.C. statement.
This, as a New York Times report details serious allegations of a massive, Russian state-run doping operation involving dozens of athletes. Russia’s track and field team is already barred from competing in the 2016 games over doping allegations. Allegations, Russian officials continue to deny.
This is far from the only cloud hanging over the host city, Rio de Janeiro. Political upheaval has led to an impeachment trial of Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff. “My government has been the objective of sabotage,” said President Rousseff.
Plus, health officials are raising serious concerns about athletes and spectators catching and spreading the Zika virus.
With the August games approaching, the I.O.C. is working to halt any cheating. Samples collected from 250 athletes who competed in the 2012 London Olympics will now also be re-tested. I.O.C. boss Thomas Bach saying “dopers have no place to hide.”