More embarrassment for Chinese swimming as details of another doping suspension are revealed ... months after ban is served
China Anti-Doping Agency retrospectively reveals details of another ban handed down to a top national swimmer
The beleaguered China Swimming Association was hit by a further doping scandal this week after the nine-month suspension of a top female swimmer came to light months after her suspension was already served.
Freestyle specialist Qiu Yuhan, a double 2014 Youth Olympic gold medallist and London Games representative, was banned by the China Anti-Doping Agency (Chinada) in May 2016.
A report on the official Chinada website said the 18-year-old, at that time a member of the national squad, tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide during an out-of-competition examination. The substance is banned by Wada as a diuretic and masking agent.
However, the announcement was only made on the agency’s website on Wednesday, months after Qiu had already served her suspension.
Scathing netizens commented on the Sina sports website that this type of news announcement was “full of Chinese characteristics”, while another suggested there were suspicions last year when Qiu failed to make the Rio Olympic squad.
Qiu, from Liaoning province, took part in the Rio Games selection trial last April, finishing second in the 200 metres freestyle and fourth in the 100m freestyle. But she never made it to Brazil and the reason is now known.
In 2014, Olympic gold medallist Sun Yang tested positive for a banned stimulant, Trimetazidine, in May and was suspended for three months.
That ban was only announced by Chinada in November of 2014 after Sun had already competed in September’s Incheon Asian Games where he won three gold medals.
Qiu first came to prominence at the 2012 London Games as the 14 year-old became the only ’90s-born member of the Chinese 4x100m freestyle relay team, which finished fourth in the final.
She raced in both 4x100m relay events when the Chinese team claimed a double gold at the 2014 Youth Games in front of the home crowds in Nanjing.
She also came second in the 200m freestyle and third in the 100m, behind teammate Shen Duo and Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong.
Chinada also said Qiu had to pay the 5,000 yuan cost of testing five samples.
During the Rio Olympics, disgraced Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi was sent home from Rio after failing a drugs test when testing positive for hydrochlorothiazide.