A Chinese whistleblower has claimed there was a systematic doping program in China during the 1980s and 1990s across a range of sports.
Chinese doctor Xue Yinxian, now seeking political asylum in Germany, said more than 10,000 athletes in different sports were involved in a state-backed doping program. This interview came from the same German investigative team that initially made claims of state-sponsored and widespread doping in Russia that finally resulted in a ban on the Russian athletics team from the Rio Olympics.
Xue, who was the Chinese gymnastics team's chief medical supervisor in the 1980s, insisted that all sports teams had to use doping substances: football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, badminton, track and field, swimming, diving, gymnastics, and weightlifting. Xue Yinxian also told public broadcaster ARD in a television interview that the government only wanted to produce gold medals irrespective of the means.
The whistleblower said every medal won by Chinese athletes at major international tournaments in the last two decades of the 20th century should be handed back as they are tainted by doping. Xue claimed Chinese athletes in the 1980s and 90s on the national teams made extensive use of doping substances. The whistleblower also commented that medals were tainted by doping - gold, silver and bronze.
Xue also said she no longer felt safe in her home city, Beijing. The whistleblower, who had worked as a doctor with several national Chinese teams from the 1970s, commented Chinese people believed only in doping and added anyone who took doping substances was seen to be defending the honor of the country. Xue went on to comment that the only one purpose of tests for doping at that time were to ensure Chinese athletes travelled to competitions without being caught. The whistleblower also said anyone against doping damaged the country and anyone who endangered the country now sits in prison.
The Chinese doctor also said the call sign 'Grandma is home' was applied to athletes who were "clean" and no longer had traces of doping substances in their body. Xue said anyone who refused to dope was thrown out of the team. The doctor said she first became aware of the problem when a coach paid a visit to her expressing concerns about the physical changes in male athletes, aged between 13 and 14, because of substances handed out by Chinese officials.
Xue said her services were terminated with the national Chinese team after she refused to treat a gymnast with a banned substance at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. The doctor however continued to work in lower level Chinese sport until she retired in 1998. Xue added she was given a warning to keep quiet about doping in the country before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games. The Chinese whistleblower said Chinese government authorities have been intimidating her before she left China. Xue said a Chinese agent was following the family near to their asylum center after they first arrived. Xue and her son Yang have been waiting for approval of their asylum requests by the German authorities.
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