Why does doping control matter? A tribute to Oceania’s Ele Opeloge of Samoa

August 12, 2021
Ele Opeloge at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

To understand why doping control matters, we don’t have to look very far in Oceania. We have our own Ele Opeloge. 



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.

To learn about the importance of anti-doping: go to
Why does doping control matter? A tribute to Oceania’s Ele Opeloge of Samoa


This story is one in a series of five on ORADO. Find the full suite below:

Part 1: Oceania achieves milestone in supporting Clean Sport at Tokyo Summer Olympics 

Part 2: Three Oceania IDCOs completing doping control services in Tokyo, one set to leave for Paralympics 

Part 3: Daunivuka taking Oceania a rung higher in Tokyo Paralympics doping control assignment 

Part 4: Felicia Ballanger: From Olympic golds and 5X World Champion in Cycling to Oceania doping control 

Part 5: Why does doping control matter? A tribute to Oceania’s Ele Opeloge of Samoa


About ONOC 
Established in 1981, the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) is one of five Continental Associations. It looks after the interests of 17 member nations in the Oceania Region, including Australia and New Zealand as well as seven associate members. 

ONOC has an office in Guam where Secretary General Mr. Ricardo Blas is based and the Secretariat in Suva, Fiji, where the Office of the President Dr Robin Mitchell is located.

All services and-programmes are based on the ONOC Strategic Plan for 2018-2021, and its 4 Core Functions of (1) Building and Strengthening NOCs Capacity (2) Cultivating Strategic Partnerships (3) Contributing towards Sporting Excellence and (4) Leading by Example.


For more information, please contact;

Shivneel Narayan
Chief Communications Officer (Acting)


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