Friday, May 24, 2024

Drug Free Sport NZ seeks answers after Chinese swimming scandal

Must read

File photo. Drug Free Sport New Zealand said it would work with the World Anti-Doping Agency to understand the situation better.
Photo: Photosport

Drug Free Sport NZ wants to know why anti-doping rules don’t appear to be applied in China in the same way as the rest of the world.

Twenty-three Chinese swimmers tested positive for a banned drug before the Covid-delayed Tokyo Olympics began in July 2021. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accepted findings by China’s anti-doping organisation that athletes were inadvertently exposed to trimetazidine (TMZ) drug through substance contamination.

Drug Free Sport NZ CEO Nick Paterson said there were still a lot of unanswered questions about the revelations.

“At the moment, there has been a strong suggestions in the media that WADA has not done its job properly and that of course is of huge concern to us. However, we’re not in a position to conclude on whether that’s right or not. We just need more information.”

Paterson said they would be working with WADA to understand the situation better.

“We’ve got lots of questions. We don’t have many answers. What we want to make sure is that the job they are doing has been done properly.”

He questioned the narrative given regarding the contamination of trimetazidine, which is found in heart medication.

“The findings so far appear to be that this substance was found within a hotel kitchen and somehow got from there to athletes’ bodies accidentally. Now as a story, that doesn’t make sense. How does heart medication get into a hotel kitchen?”

WADA said it consulted scientific experts and legal counsel to test the contamination theory presented by he Chinese anti-doping organisation CHINADA.

“It doesn’t appear to us that the world anti-doping code is being applied in China in the way that it’s being applied on the rest of the world. In this situation, we would have expected there would have been a provisional suspension of the athletes in question and where they are stood down from their sport,” said Paterson.

China’s 30-member swimming team won six medals at the Tokyo Games, including three golds.

Paterson said the challenge of doping is never going away. “We owe it to New Zealand athletes who we hold to a high standard of integrity to make sure that athletes around the world who they compete against are held to the same standards of integrity.”

Latest article