Last week, Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi brought shame to her country and yet more controversy to the already beleaguered national swimming team after failing a doping test at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 18-year-old swimmer tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, on an August 7th test after she finished fourth in the 100m butterfly final, missing bronze by just 0.09 seconds. Diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide dramatically increase the flow of urine. They are prohibited in competitions because they are sometimes used as masking agents with the purpose of hiding other illegal drugs from doping tests.
Directly afterward, Chen asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to test sample B and applied for a hearing into the matter.
Well, unfortunately for her, that sample B confirmed the positive test for hydrochlorothiazide. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the decision and kicked Chen out of the Rio Olympics. The CAS said that it was up to the International Swimming Federation to decide on Chen’s punishment following the Olympic Games.
For its part, the Chinese Swimming Association has said that it will launch a “thorough investigation” into Chen’s doping test result. In a statement released after Chen was expelled yesterday, China’s Olympic delegation said that the country has a “zero tolerance policy” against doping, and conducts 15,000 doping tests each year with only 2 out of 1,000 athletes failing the checks.
“Although we have been making progress in battling performance-enhancing drugs, this case once again serves as a warning that anti-doping campaign is a complicated and formidable task and needs longtime and consistent efforts,” the statement said.
As you’d expect, Chinese netizens aren’t taking the news well, though some are pointing fingers behind the scenes.
“An 18-year-old child absolutely doesn’t have the guts to be taking stimulants on her own. The people behind this should be uncovered. Don’t go blaming the scapegoat so easily,” one Weibo user wrote.