Top Chinese swimmer banned after testing positive

June 29th, 2008 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, June 29 (Xinhua) China’s top female swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng has been banned from competition for life after testing positive for steroid. Ouyang, who won three silver medals in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, failed an out-of-competition test which was conducted, May 1, said Li Hua, director of the Chinese Swimming Administration Center, the country’s swimming governing body.

The 25-year-old Ouyang is China’s best female backstroke swimmer. Her coach Feng Shangbao has also been disqualified from coaching for life, Li said.

Yuan Hong, head of the Chinese Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Commission, told Xinhua that Ouyang’s life ban was in accordance with a new regulation adopted in March.

“Ouyang’s ban proves nothing but our determination to weed out dope cheats among Chinese athletes. No matter how excellent an athletes is, he or she will be severely punished once tested positive,” said Yuan who is on a nationwide inspection to tighten management of performance-enhancing drug suppliers and manufacturers ahead of the Olympics.

The inspection, conducted by eight government departments, would specially focus on Olympic host cities and regions with a concentrated chemical industry.

“We will continue our zero-tolerance policy in the fight against doping,” she said. “We hope to send a clean team to the Olympic Games.”

China found 15 positive cases in 2007 after conducting 10238 tests, 70 percent of them out-of-competition. When China first started doping tests, the number was merely 165.

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