Actually, I believe the poor timing, i.e. a week before the start of the Olympic Games, couldnít be avoided, and therefore not politically motivated or any attempt to screw the Russians as a team. At least the announcement didnít happen after the Beijing prelims and could have been worse. The IAAF had an IOC-accredited laboratory perform DNA testing, which revealed discrepancies between samples taken at last year's World Championships in Osaka (where the IAAF was able to conduct their own testing and thus match up the different urine samples) and out-of-competition testing in May. It is believed that, to complete its body of evidence, the IAAF went to Moscow in the last 30 days to collect yet more samples from the athletes involved. Therefore, for the IAAF to have the IOC-accredited laboratory provide the highest-quality DNA testing to withstand any possible future legal challenges, it took some time (they wanted their ducks in order).
And any notion that the IAAF unfairly targeted the Russians should be set aside. Attention increasingly focused on the Russian athletes, and experts started comparing their in-competition samples, which were clearly delivered by the athletes themselves (a huge bloody red flag), to those taken out of competition.
Additionally, in out-of-competition tests, the general ratio among professional sportspeople is one missed test for every five that an athlete completes. It was when the Russians, over a long period of time, started missing significantly fewer than that figure that their apparent good behavior backfired. The IAAF had no choice but to institute a ďsting operation.Ē
Edited to add: Earlier this week, the IOC announced all drug tests taken in Beijing would be stored for eight years and revisited as new methods of testing were developed. Previously, they were stored for only 90 days.
It will be interesting to see how many Olympic medal contenders will suddenly strain a hamstring or otherwise bow out of the games.