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  Chinese Olympians pass strict doping tests  
  page view:   2010-07-31 09:38   【size large middle small  
 

All Chinese Olympians have undergone strict doping tests as it was one of the host country's top priorities to ensure all its athlete have clean Games, officials with the anti-doping authorities said on Wednesday.

Zhao Jian, China Anti-Doping Agency deputy director, told a press conference that 5,007 doping tests of more than 2,000 top Chinese athletes had been conducted between January 1 and July 27 when the country's Olympians moved into the Olympic Village in Beijing.

These doping tests had been conducted on athletes without prior notice. Many tests were held at several doping-sensitive events, such as track and field, swimming and cycling, said Zhao, also head of the Anti-Doping Commission of the Chinese Olympic Committee.

Yuan Hong, Zhao's assistant at the Anti-Doping Commission of the Chinese Olympic Committee, said the drive was the strictest so far with the largest number of athletes taking tests.

Prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics, about 1,400 doping tests were conducted on Chinese athletes, according to the agency.

Zhao added the anti-doping campaign proved to be effective after two top athletes, namely swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng and wrestler Luo Meng, tested positive. The two, along with their coaches, were given lifetime bans.

He said his agency had also carried out tests on athletes who would not represent the nation. So far this year, six athletes had failed tests and had been punished or subject to investigation.

China's sport governing body, the State General Administration of Sport, initiated a regulation in March saying national team athletes would be banned for life for doping and his or her coach would also face a lifetime ban.

Jiang Zhixue, Chinese Olympic Committee deputy secretary general, the official responsible for fighting doping, said earlier the country had been draconian in its doping monitoring over the last few years.

"It is safe to say that once a Chinese athlete is found doping at the Games, his or her playing career is over," he said.

Chinese athletes who failed doping tests, he added, accounted for just 0.4 percent of the country's total. This was well below the international average of 1.97 percent recorded in 2007.

Last week, China announced it would field the biggest-ever Olympic team of 639 athletes to compete at the Beijing Games on August 8 to 24.

 (Xinhua: 07/30/2008)  
 

 
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