As the different ways athletes find to cheat evolve, so does the science that eventually finds a way to catch them. Now Olympic officials and scientific experts will meet next month to discuss a test designed to nab those gene doping, which is considered the next step in sports cheating.
“Quite some progress has been made in terms of outlining the scientific basis for analysis of gene doping,” IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist told the Associated Press on Thursday. “We are moving. It’s promising.”
The meeting, which will take place in Beijing on June 5 and 6, is the fourth major symposium on gene doping and will include forty experts who’ve been organized by the World Anti-doping Agency following two different teams who’ve possibly already discovered a way to test for gene doping.
WADA and the IOC say that no athletes are currently using gene doping to cheat, but that it’s only a matter of time before they discover how. And instead of trying to catch up, they’d rather be ahead of the curve.
“We want to continue the momentum that we’ve got so we can get to a scenario where the detection methods can be approved,” WADA director general David Howman said. “It’s close.”
“I think there’s something special about Aspen,” Mikaela Shiffrin told NBC after winning two slalom races in as many days.
After Saturday’s history-making win, when Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in the U.S. and was the first American woman to win a slalom race at the Aspen World Cup stop, the twenty-year-old won again by a large margin. After winning by 3:07 seconds on Saturday, Shiffrin told reporters, “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”
But on Sunday her lead over the second place finisher, Frida Hansdotter of Sweden, wasn’t much shorter: 2:65 seconds. And this was with an early mistake that left her off balance for a moment in her final run.
In third place was Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic.
This weekend also saw a podium finish for American Travis Ganong. Racing the downhill event at Lake Louise yesterday, Ganong finished third behind Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who is recovering from an Achilles injury that prevented him from competing the majority of the last season, and Peter Fill of Norway. Ganong cAksel Lund Svindal of Norwayouldn’t quite repeat his success in the Super G event on Sunday, finishing fourth.
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Hamburg will not continue its bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, withdrawing from the race after a public referendum was held.
If over 50% of the voters in Hamburg had voted in support of the Olympic bid they would have stayed in race. However, the New York Times reported that of the 650,000 votes that were cast, 51.7% were against the bid.
Olaf Scholz, the mayor of Hamburg, said, “This is a decision that we did not have liked but it is clear.”
A public referendum also ended Munich’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Germany has not hosted a Games since 1972.
The cities that remain in contention to host the 2024 Olympics are Los Angeles, Budapest, Paris and Rome. None of these plan to hold public referendums.
The 2024 host city will be selected on September 13th, 2017 at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Lima, Peru.