A statement by the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (included at the bottom of this article) has revealed that eight Thai athletes who failed anti-doping tests were caught as a result of a sophisticated but time-consuming testing technique.
Gas Chromatography-Combustion Isotope Ratio Analysis (GC-C-IRMS) is an extremely sensitive way to identify chemicals in complex mixtures. In anti-doping, it is used to compare samples collected in competition with an archive of previous samples (the “Athlete Passport”). The technique is not available to all anti-doping laboratories and takes longer than older testing techniques.
The Thai athletes passed initial tests on their samples from the 2018 World Championships but subsequent testing with the new technique led to Adverse Analytical Findings (failed tests). If B samples show the same results, the athletes are almost certain to receive bans.
The fact that the more sensitive test found things that other tests did not