With better testing, more athletes in high level competitive sports are being caught for doping even years after a competition.Just last week, Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt lost a gold medal from the 2008 Olympics after one of his teammates was caught using steroids.
"Modern technology and modern science is improving so they're starting to catch them. It’s exciting to me,” said Olympic weightlifter Melanie Roach.
At 42 years old, Roach has been a competitive weightlifter for the last 23 years. She competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
"The 2008 Olympics were the highlight of my athletic career," she said.
In Beijing, Roach placed 6th overall. After that, she thought she was going to retire and stay home with her five kids and her husband in Bonney Lake, but instead, Roach jumped back in the game and placed in the 2015 American Open.
"I ended up in second place. I did win the clean and jerk but overall I ended up in second place," she said.
Roach was second place up until last month when she received a phone call.
"This person on the other line said, ‘I want you to know that you won the American Open,’ and I was like, ‘What?’ Roach said. “I was shocked. She said, ‘The person ahead of you was caught for doing steroids.’”
That’s why Roach went to the post office Friday to send back her American Open medal.
"Goodbye to the silver, hello to the gold," Roach said.
Roach also found out she was bumped up to 5th place in the 2008 Olympics after another athlete was caught doping.
While playing fair may may not be the quickest way to get results, for Roach, she says maintaining her integrity is what feels better in the end.
"I was never mad. I was just like, ‘People are getting caught,’” Roach said. “You cannot cheat anymore and that's exciting to me!"
Even though it may be years after an athlete has stood on the podium, the story of the competition isn't finished.
“In our sport, you chip away at your personal record for years. You put in the work you put in the time, you repeat and over and over you’re working on our craft. You don’t just magically make improvement,” said Roach. “I think people have to understand. This is a sport of hard work, long-term dedication. There’s no magic solution to being good at our sport.”