Chinese walker’s coach gets four-year ban

July 15th, 2008 - 4:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 15 (Xinhua) Chinese walker Song Hongjuan’s coach is banned for four years after the athlete tested positive and was banned, a Chinese athletics official said. Chinese Athletic Association official Zhang Yongliang Monday said Song’s coach was punished under the Chinese anti-doping rules.

China’s Anti-Doping Code regulates that if an athlete violates doping rules, coaches, team doctors and even scientific research staff shall take up related responsibilities and will be punished.

The 24-year-old Song, who was 14th in the women’s 20km at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 15th in the same event at last year’s world championships, tested positive for erythropoietin, or EPO, in an out-of-competition test in Beijing in February.

EPO boosts the number of blood cells, which in turn enhances the body’s capacity to use oxygen and is used mainly by endurance athletes.

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