Why does doping control matter? A tribute to Oceania’s Ele Opeloge of Samoa
TOKYO, 12 AUGUST 2021
AN ONOC PARTNER FEATURE: ORADO
We look to weightlifting sensation Ele Opeloge of Samoa. She competed in the +75kg division of Women’s Weightlifting at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and came away finishing fourth.
Opeloge apologised to her country people for coming home empty-handed.
Watch her lifting at the Beijing Olympics here.
According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), “in 2016, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) reported in the International Olympic Committee's re-analysis of Beijing 2008 that both silver and bronze medallists in the women's +75kg category had failed retests of their doping samples.
“This saw Opeloge, who had already retired, elevated to the silver medallist position thus securing the first-ever Olympic medal for Samoa.”
In 2017, nine years after she lifted in Beijing, Opeloge was awarded her Olympic Silver Medal in front of the Government House in Samoa.
In a TV3 Samoa coverage of Ele Opeloge in the ‘Where are they now?’ programme, she now runs her own fruit and vegetable stall in Samoa.
At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Opeloge was one of thousands of clean athletes who participated. She received her Silver Medal nine years later.
Although she found success at the Pacific Games and the Commonwealth Games after Beijing 2008, we will never know how her sporting and post-sport careers would have gone had she made the podium in China.
In Oceania, ORADO leads the work in doping control to encourage and champion clean athletes through education, advocacy, doping control and awareness.
Find out how you can engage by following them on Facebook here.
This ONOC Partner Feature Series on ORADO is presented by ONOC to celebrate clean sport and athletes who Play True in the true Olympic-led values of Friendship, Excellence and Respect.