There is a chance of athletes being stripped of Olympic medals years after winning them as doping samples are retested from the 2008 Beijing Games.

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

The IOC plans to retest hundreds of doping samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics in a bid to catch any drug cheats who escaped detection at the time.

IOC medical director Richard Budgett says some retests have already been carried out on stored samples from Beijing, and from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and 2012 London Olympics.

The retesting opens the possibility of athletes being stripped of Olympic medals up to 10 years after they won them.

Budgett says "even if it's five or 10 years later, it's really an important thing to do".

The International Olympic Committee has stored Olympic doping samples since 2004, keeping them for reanalysis when new methods become available.

The original eight-year statute of limitations has been extended to 10 years under the new World Anti-Doping Code.