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Eleven swimmers in doping scandal named in China Olympic team


 

China will send 11 swimmers implicated in a doping scandal to next month’s Paris Olympics, after the country named its squad for the Games.

Twenty-three Chinese swimmers tested positive for the heart drug trimetazidine (TMZ) — which can enhance performance — ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Games, it emerged in April.

They were not sanctioned after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accepted the argument of Chinese authorities that the case was caused by food contamination.

Several went on to win medals, including gold, in Tokyo.

China named its swimming squad for Paris on Tuesday. Among them were 11 of the 23 who tested positive for the banned TMZ and were named in news reports in April.

The 11 includes butterfly specialist Zhang Yufei, who won two golds in Japan, as well as another gold-medallist in Wang Shun.

Rising star Qin Haiyang is another who was named in media reports in April and will go to Paris.

WADA’s decision not to punish the swimmers has provoked intense criticism, particularly from the United States.

The head of the US national anti-doping agency Travis Tygart has called the situation a “potential cover-up”, an allegation WADA and China have denied.

WADA has said it will send a compliance audit team to China to “assess the current state of the country’s anti-doping programme”, an investigation that China has said it will cooperate with.


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