BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese Swimming Association has announced it will be issuing a “warning penalty” to swimmers Wang Lizhuo and An Jiabao after they tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol.
According to a terse statement posted online late on Monday, the CSA said it would be also be warning and fining Wang’s Chinese Navy team and An’s Tianjin club as well as fining their coaches.
Wang and An’s identities were revealed when the CSA announced last week that six Chinese swimmers had failed doping tests during the 2015-16 season.
It identified a third swimming as Chinese Navy’s Zhao Ying, who also tested positive for Clenbuterol in an out-of-competition test but has not yet been punished.
Clenbuterol is a performance-enhancing substance sometimes found in weight-loss pills that is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list.
The use of doping stimulants in Chinese swimming caught worldwide attention last week when WADA announced it was investigating claims published by the Times newspaper that Chinese sports authorities were suppressing five positive tests to “avoid a storm”.
The Chinese anti-doping agency (CHINADA) denied it was “covering up” the tests, arguing that it was following protocols by protecting the identities of the swimmers while test procedures and hearings were still underway.
The CSA have announced that three other Chinese swimmers tested positive for the prohibited diuretic hydroclorothiazide in out-of-competition tests in January. The swimmers were not named.
Last week, the deputy director of the Chinese anti-doping agency (CHINADA), Zhao Jian, told state media that the agency would “release results and punishments in 20 days after the relevant association makes its respective punishments”.
Monday’s statement said Wang and An’s coaches will each face fines equivalent to the cost of five stimulant detection tests, amounting to 5,000 yuan ($767.94).
The association also announced that the unit overseeing athletes for the Navy’s Swimming and Diving team as well as the Tianjin Swimming Association will each get a warning and a penalty equivalent to the cost of 10 doping tests.
The CSA’s decision were in accordance with the anti-doping rules of swimming’s world governing body FINA and doping management regulations, the online statement said.
A Reuters call to the CSA was not answered on Tuesday.
($1 = 6.5109 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Jessica Macy Yu, editing by Nick Mulvenney
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