• Loading stock data...
Monday, May 27, 2024

Chinese Government Says Swimming Doping Story Is ‘Fake News’

  • The Chinese government and international doping regulators stand by swimmers competing in the 2021 Olympics.
  • American and international regulators have threatened legal action against one another.
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

After the New York Times and German broadcaster ARD uncovered the positive drug tests of 23 Chinese swimmers before the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, the country is firing back. A spokesperson for its foreign ministry said Monday that “The relevant reports are fake news and not factual.”

China has held that the athletes were accidentally exposed to small levels of trimetazidine, a substance banned because it can help blood flow and reduce recovery time. It’s the same drug that disrupted the figure skating world until a January ruling banned the Russian skater Kamila Valieva and redistributed the medals. Both China and Russia said their athletes unknowingly injected the heart medication through contaminated food. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ultimately rejected Valieva’s excuse—that some of her grandfather’s medication ended up in her strawberry dessert—and banned her for four years.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has stood by its decision to not punish the Chinese swimmers or publicize the initial case, saying strict COVID-19 restrictions in China made it difficult to investigate the cases and China’s explanation.

Several of the swimmers who tested positive reached the podium in Tokyo, including winning three gold medals, according to the Times.

“I want to emphasize,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, “that the Chinese government has maintained a firm stance of zero tolerance towards doping, strictly abides by the WADA Code, resolutely safeguards the physical and mental health of athletes, maintains fair play in sports competitions, and contributes positively to the global efforts in the crackdown on doping.”

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, however, isn’t happy with the series of events. Statements have flurried back and forth between the American and international doping agencies. After the news became public Saturday, WADA released a statement upholding its decisions, which were met by the U.S. agency’s CEO Travis Tygart suggesting a cover-up. WADA shot back, calling Tygart’s words “outrageous, completely false and defamatory remarks.” Tygart responded with another statement defending the process for American athletes who have formerly been entangled in contamination cases. (As Tygart pointed out, typically positive tests in contamination cases are publicized, even if the athlete involved is ultimately cleared.) He called the cases taking years to become public “egregious failures” on the part of WADA and China’s anti-doping agency.

Both sides have threatened legal action. Tygart’s initial statement said everyone involved in keeping the news quiet “must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the rules and law.” WADA’s statement on his remarks concludes in bold font: “It should be noted that following Mr. Tygart’s false allegations, WADA has no choice but to refer this matter to its legal counsel for further action.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jan 11, 2024; Paris, FRANCE; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks before a NBA Game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at AccorHotels Arena.

Adam Silver Is the Real Winner in the Battle for the NBA’s Rights Future

For the past decade, the commissioner has been playing chess, not checkers.
NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. Ncaahall 311477 Jpg

From Revenue-Sharing to Private Equity: Breaking Down the NCAA’s Historic Week

Commercialization of college sports has never been more evident than this week.

Not Every MLS Team Gets to Strike Gold With a Messi Visit

Lionel Messi won’t play in Saturday’s match against the Whitecaps.

Rare Indy 500 Rain Could Keep Odd Blackout Tradition Going

The local Indy 500 TV blackout has endured despite the NFL ending its blackout policy nearly a decade ago. 
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

French Open Marks Transition in Tennis


Featured Today


‘This Is Semi-Pro’: Inside One Arena Football League Team’s Collapse

The collapse of the Georgia Force, as told by the players who lived it.
Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.
May 19, 2024

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.
May 18, 2024

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
EA Sports
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

All-NBA Voting Brings and Costs Young Stars $40 Million Raises

Two stars of the playoffs are now eligible for much larger extensions. 
May 21, 2024

Jalen Brunson Reportedly Considering Giving Knicks $100 Million Discount

He would sacrifice a huge amount of money by signing a deal this summer instead of next.
May 22, 2024

Lawsuit Claims LaMelo Ball Ran Over Young Fan With His Car

A mother and son are suing Ball and the Hornets over an October incident.

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
May 21, 2024

Josh Hader Was the Rare MLB Player Who Could Fight Back

The Astros reliever privately held teams to certain rules when using him the past four seasons.
May 21, 2024

Nika Mühl Finally Set to Play in WNBA After Immigration Red Tape Kept Her Out

The Storm rookie has missed four games waiting for her work visa approval.
Canelo Alvarez
May 20, 2024

The Highest-Paid Professional Boxers in the World

Anthony Joshua tops the list of highest-earning active boxers in 2024.
May 20, 2024

Fanatics Sues Marvin Harrison Jr., Says He Leaked ‘Misleading’ Info to ESPN

Harrison’s side says the two sides don’t have a contract, which Fanatics disputes.