Chinese athletes to face life ban if caught doping

July 13th, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 13 (Xinhua) Doping at the Beijing Olympic Games will result in a life-time ban for Chinese athletes, authorities here announced Sunday. China is taking strict measures to send a clean team to the August 8-24 Games with tough punishments, frequent tests and constant anti-doping education for its athletes, especially those headed towards the Games.

“If Chinese athlete is found doping at the Games, his or her playing career is over,” said Jiang Zhixue, deputy secretary general of Chinese Olympic Committee, who is responsible for doping control.

The country’s sport governing body State General Administration of Sport put in force in March a regulation saying that national team athletes will be banned for life for doping rules violation and his or her coach will also face lifetime ban.

“Not just the athlete, the coach or even team doctor will also be punished. It doesn’t mean that coaches or doctors are necessarily involved in the athlete’s doping case but they need to be aware of their responsibility,” said Jiang.

In the past six months, China banned two national team athletes and their coaches for life due to doping rules violation after carrying out 6,038 tests, said Jiang.

Chinese men’s top backstroke swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng and wrestler Luo Meng received the most severe punishments of life-time bans after the two national team athletes were respectively tested positive for anabolic steroid clenbuterol and furosemide, a diuretic.

Ouyang’s coach Feng Shangbao and Luo’s coach Zhang Hua were also suspended for life.

Besides, all the Chinese athletes attending the Games will be made to vow before the national flag.

“They will make an oath before the national flag, promising that they will not use banned drugs, nor do anything violating the rules,” he said.” They and their coaches will also sign on a letter of commitment, which is more educational than legal,” he added.

In the most recent combined effort from eight government departments, a nationwide inspection took place to tighten management of performance-enhancing drug suppliers and manufacturers.

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