China’s Olympic doping scandal reignites as US summons FINA to testify

The U.S. government launched a criminal investigation following news that a number of Chinese swimmers had tested positive for stimulants before the last Olympics, and there were further developments in the case on Friday.

The case of stimulant drug use by Chinese swimmers is becoming more serious, and China has expressed its intention to cooperate with the investigation.
WADA launches independent investigation after Chinese swimmer accidentally takes banned substance
According to AFP on July 5, World Aquatics (formerly the International Swimming Federation) confirmed that its Secretary General Brent Nowicki has been summoned to the United States to testify regarding the case of a Chinese athlete who tested positive for stimulants.

According to international media reports, 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for trimetazidine before the Tokyo Olympics in January 2021. However, FINA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accepted China’s explanation that food was contaminated and allowed Chinese athletes to continue competing. These athletes included Zhang Yufei, who won gold medals in the women’s 200m butterfly and 4×200 freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympics, and Wang Shun, the gold medalist in the men’s 200m medley.

Until the New York Times and other media exposed the case in April of this year, two international organizations still refused to accept the case due to insufficient evidence to the contrary and the prevalence of the allegations. In May of this year, the US House of Representatives Special Committee on China called on the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate the case under the federal methamphetamine conspiracy law.

World Aquatics stressed on Friday that its chief executive had “only been asked to testify as a witness” before the U.S. took any action, while the World Anti-Extreme Agency told The Associated Press it was “disappointed” that the U.S. had opened a criminal investigation into the incident.

It has been reported that 11 of the 23 swimmers who tested positive for stimulants will be competing again as Chinese representatives in the Paris Olympics. This incident must have cast a dark shadow over China’s image as a “sports powerhouse” that is eager to win gold medals.

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