Miss World pageant is going on after 12 contestants test positive for steroids

The Miss World competition has been postponed to November 2021 after a dozen contestants from 12 countries in four continents — including the U.S. — tested positive for drugs, organizers announced Tuesday.

Organizers said testing of the contestants’ blood samples showed that “a small percentage” of women participating in the contest had elevated levels of steroids, although the show, scheduled for July 2018, would still go on.

“There is no reason for Miss World to not go ahead with its scheduled Fourth of July weekend in countries from around the world,” the show’s organizers said. “There is also no reason to question the motivation of organizers and contestants. It is to be decided as to what changes will need to be made to the Miss World Contest to ensure better quality assurance.”

The original rules of the contest required the entrants to be at least 18 years old to be eligible for the competition. It is unclear what gender tests were in place to determine age eligibility at the competition before the positive results were discovered.

The Miss World competition’s ultimate goal is “honoring the different cultural and religious expressions in countries around the world and the unique challenges women face every day,” according to the pageant’s website. The contestants’ stints on the stage include the Miss Earth contest — which highlights the achievements of women in sub-Saharan Africa — and even the Miss Asia Pacific title, in which contestants are encouraged to “transform their everyday daily routine.”

The winners of those competitions have gone on to compete in the International Miss World Pageant in Monte Carlo.

The pageant’s protocol for dosing contestants “is constantly improved,” according to Miss World’s website. It states that the “testing results for any dietary supplements (alimenta, nutrition, diethylamide, creatine) have not affected the results of our A, B, C, and D levels, or any results from other labs.” The website indicates that the “results are anonymous, and no name or details are shared.”

The tainted results were only discovered after “the organization carried out all drug-tested results of these 12 contestants,” a spokeswoman for the Miss World pageant said in a statement. The samples had been taken in September, before the 12 were announced as finalists.

Participants take days and nights to prepare for the Miss World competition in order to have ample time to prepare their high heels. The announcement of the finalists even happened in person, with the contestants at the famed seaport of Qingdao, in eastern China.

The “maintenance and health” of the contestants is a “top priority for the Miss World Organization,” the statement said.

A representative of the Miss World Organization declined to comment on what led to the positive results, but the pageant’s website lists plans for a massive beauty pageant in Montenegro next July, which will include singing, dance and gold-standard swimming.

A pageant representative previously told the Associated Press that contestants in international beauty contests undergo “rigorous drug testing” and only one contestant has tested positive since the competition began in 1953. It did not disclose any results.

The Miss World organization said that they hope that the fraudulent results in Russia last year will prompt other countries in regions “experiencing drug abuse” to support programs to stem the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“[W]e are urging the teams from all over the world to be very vigilant and come forward,” a statement from the Miss World Organization says. “If you have not already been informed, any evidence of doping that is discovered should be reported to the Miss World Organisation and the Fédération Internationale de Lutérale de l’AIPS and taken into consideration in future testing as well as sending of status letters to the competitors.”

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