World swimming body promises more anti

字号+ 作者: 来源: 2024-07-25 11:09:49 我要评论(0)

World swimming body promises more anti-doping tests of Chinese team before Paris Olympics

World swimming body promises more anti-doping tests of Chinese team before Paris Olympics


July 16, 2024 at 15:57 JST

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Photo/IllutrationThe swimming pool for Olympic competitions is seen in the Paris La Defense Arena in Nanterre, outside Paris, on July 5. (Pool via AP)

GENEVA--Chinese swimmers going to the Paris Olympics are undergoing increased drug testing of at least eight times this year before the Games, World Aquatics said on Monday.

The Chinese swim team in Paris is set to have 11 athletes who tested positive for a banned heart medication in 2021, six months before the Tokyo Olympics. They avoided being suspended. In Tokyo, the swimmers won three gold medals.

A Chinese state-backed investigation in June 2021 blamed mass contamination by food in a hotel kitchen though without evidence to prove it. The case was not publicly revealed until reporting three months ago by the New York Times and German broadcaster ARD.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has been widely criticized — and targeted by a United States federal investigation — for accepting the explanation in 2021 when travel to China was not possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. A WADA-appointed prosecutor in Switzerland last week cleared the Montreal-based agency of bias toward China in a report that had a limited remit.

Swimming’s governing body also appointed a panel to study how it handled the case three years ago, including following WADA at the time by not challenging the Chinese claim at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The panel’s 11-page report with recommendations was published on Monday, 12 days before swim events start in Paris at La Defense Arena. It detailed a promise of more anti-doping tests for some countries ahead of the Olympics and especially China.

World Aquatics said “a certain number of athletes from specific nations will be tested four times” since the start of the year by the Lausanne-based International Testing Agency, which runs anti-doping programs for many Olympic sports.

Chinese athletes competing in Paris “will be tested by the ITA no less than eight times during this same period,” the world swim body said. Those samples would ideally not be collected by the Chinese anti-doping agency and also not be tested by laboratories in China.

World Aquatics is set to publish those test results before the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday of next week.

“What is extremely clear, and what cannot be taken for granted, is that the trust of the aquatics community is vital to the continued success of World Aquatics as an international federation,” the governing body said.

The five-member report team appointed by World Aquatics was chaired by former Spanish sports minister Miguel Cardenal, who previously was a member of the management board at CAS.

“The committee has not identified any irregularities, mismanagement or cover-up” by World Aquatics, said the Cardenal panel, which included Olympic gold medal swimmer Florent Manaudou of France.

To rebuild trust with athletes and coaches, the panel recommended World Aquatics routinely publish details of who is provisionally suspended for potential breaches of anti-doping rules. It also wants details published of how often athletes were tested, and by who, in the six months before events like an Olympics or world championships.

“World Aquatics must accept this challenge and intensify its communication with athletes,” the panel said.


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