The Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) will very soon be launching a thorough investigation after three weightlifters from the country were stripped of their Beijing 2008 gold medals for doping.
Liu Chinhong, Cao Lei, and Chen Xiexia were stripped of their respective under-69, under-75, and under-48 kilograms women's gold medals won in the Chinese capital by the IOC last week following re-analysis of their samples. All three Chinese weightlifters failed for the prohibited substance Growth hormone-releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2) and metabolite GHRP-2 M2; Liu also tested positive for Sibutramine. The oral anorexiant is medically prescribed as an adjunct in the treatment of exogenous obesity along with diet and exercise.
China, the weightlifting powerhouse, is facing a potential ban from international weightlifting competitions for one year. Last year, the International Weightlifting Federation vowed to hand over a suspension of 12 months to all countries that produce three or more anti-doping rule violations in the combined re-analysis of samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The Chinese Olympic Committee said in a statement that it strongly condemns these three test-failed athletes, whose behavior goes against sports morals and the Olympic Spirit. The statement further reads that the Olympic Committee of China respects verdict of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and will launch a thorough investigation into the positive doping results. It was further said that the anti-doping campaign is a complicated and formidable task and needs longtime and consistent efforts and the COC will cooperate with the IOC in protecting the purity of the Olympic Movement.
The stance of COC was echoed by the Chinese Weightlifting Association. The governing body of weightlifting in China said it will initiate a full investigation into the case and punish those responsible in accordance with the law.
These anti-doping comments were made before a visit to Switzerland by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The President of China is expected to meet with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in Lausanne. Doping concerns are likely to be discussed in the meeting between Xi and Bach along with preparations for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Xi wrote in an article that the International Olympic Movement, in its over 100 years, has played a positive role in enhancing all-round human development, deepening friendship between nations and promoting peace, development and progress. The Chinese President added China, a long-time supporter and member of the Olympic Movement, has hosted the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, and is actively preparing for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Xi also commented that he is glad to visit the International Olympic Committee and learn from President Thomas Bach and the IOC their ideas about promoting the Olympic spirit and advancing the Olympic Movement. The Chinese President further remarked he is looking forward to his upcoming trip to Switzerland, where he will meet people from different walks of life to promote cooperation and innovation and added that the trip hopefully will give a strong impetus to the relations of China with Switzerland, Europe, the United Nations and the Olympic Movement in the year ahead
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