A strong complaint points against Chinese swimming three months before Paris 2024

The German program Geheimsache Doping and The New York Times published that 23 Chinese athletes were not suspended despite testing positive before Tokyo 2020; the WADA ratified the version of involuntary consumption.

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Zhang Yufei became the 200-meter butterfly champion with an Olympic Record at Tokyo 2020.
Zhang Yufei became the 200-meter butterfly champion with an Olympic Record at Tokyo 2020.

A resounding complaint made by the German television program Geheimsache Doping (Top Secret Doping, in Spanish), on the public channel ARD, and the American newspaper The New York Times states that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for doping in early 2021, a few months before the Tokyo Olympics, and were not sanctioned.

Among the athletes involved, 13 later competed in the Japanese capital and three of them were Olympic champions: Zhang Yufei, winner of the 200-meter butterfly and three other medals, Yang Yunxuan, winner of the combined 200m and Wang Shun, who participated in the award in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay.

The complaint asserts that the control was carried out while they were participating in a contest in the province of Hebei, China, and that the substance detected was trimetazidine (TMZ), the drug banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) since 2014 that earned a four-year sanction to the Russian skater Kamila Valieva and whose main property is to improve heart function by increasing blood flow.

According to the indictment, a March 2021 report by the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) had pointed to food contamination as the involuntary cause of the consumption of the metabolic modulator.

Through a statement released last Saturday, the WADA acknowledged having been notified of these results in June 2021 and then proceeding with the review, without researchers being able to enter China because of the protocols inherent to COVID-19. In effect, he argued that he could not “refute” the version of the pollution or attribute “negligence” and “fault” to the athletes. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not yet ruled on the case.