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News Of Retrospective Suspension Revealed Months After Ban Served

The Chinese Swimming Association has revealed that Freestyle specialist Qiu Yuhan, a double 2014 Youth Olympic gold medalist and London Games representative, was banned by it in May 2016.

A report on the official website of CHINADA disclosed that Yuhan, the 18-year-old who was a member of the national squad at that time, tested positive for Hydrochlorothiazide during an out-of-competition examination. The substance is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a diuretic and masking agent.

Diuretics have the potential to increase urination rates and may be used as masking agents for hiding the presence of performance enhancing substances that are screened for in doping tests.

The announcement was however only made on website of the agency months after Qiu had already served her suspension. Qiu had to pay the 5,000 Yuan that was the cost of testing five samples, according to the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency.

Last April, Qiu, from Liaoning province, took part in the Rio Games selection trial and finished second in the 200 meters freestyle and fourth in the 100m freestyle but she never made it to Brazil.

Qiu first came to prominence at the 2012 London Games as the 14 year-old became the only 1990s-born member of the Chinese 4x100m freestyle relay team that finished fourth in the final. Qiu competed in both 4x100m relay events when the Chinese team claimed a double gold at the 2014 Youth Games in front of the home crowds in Nanjing. The Chinese swimmer came second in the 200m freestyle and third in the 100m, behind teammate Shen Duo and Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong.

Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang tested positive for a banned stimulant, Trimetazidine, in 2014, and was suspended for three months. The ban imposed on Yang was announced by the Chinese Anti Doping Agency after Sun had already competed in Incheon Asian Games in September where he won three gold medals. Yang, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and multiple World Champion, served a doping ban of three months. However, the announcement of his suspension was not made prior to or during that year’s Asian Games and CHINADA never provided an explanation as to why it did not immediately announce Sun Yang’s suspension.

Yang, the most decorated Chinese swimmer of all time, owns the distinction of being the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming and became the first swimmer in history to have an Olympic gold medal in the 200, 400, and 1500 meters freestyle events.

Disgraced Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi was sent home from the Rio Olympics after failing a drugs test when testing positive for Hydrochlorothiazide. Xinyi, the nation's top butterfly swimmer, was given a suspension of two years. In an announcement, the world governing body of swimming said Xinyi was banned from competing for two years, from August 11, 2016 to August 10, 2018.

In 2016, the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) said there were six positive tests for banned substances by Chinese swimmers. Out of this, three positive tests were for Clenbuterol. The Times had reported in the past that swimming coach Zhou Ming, who was banned for life in 1998 for his involvement in a prior doping scheme, was still working with swimmers in Tianjin.

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Albert Wolfgang
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