You would think that the close of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio would also put a merciful end to any more scandals for Team China, but apparently that’s not the case.
Instead, the International Olympic Committee decided to retest some old doping samples from the 2008 Beijing Games, three Chinese gold medal weightlifters failed the retest.
The most prominent among these now shamed athletes is Liu Chunhong, a legendary weightlifting champion who won Olympic golds in both Beijing and Athens in the women’s 69kg division, shattering records in the process.
Chen Xiexia also tested positive. She is best known for winning China’s first gold in the Beijing Olympics. For that good timing, Chen became a national celebrity, receiving over 4 million yuan from sponsors and private donors.
And then there is Cao Lei. She won gold in 2008 in the women’s 75k division, setting an Olympic record in the process.
All three weightlifters tested positive for GHRP-2, a synthetic substance that stimulates growth hormone production. Liu also tested positive for another stimulant, sibutramine.
Of course, it’s likely that China’s doped-up weightlifters bested doped-up weightlifters from around the globe to win those golds. Eight other weightlifting medalists from Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Belarus, also failed doping retests and risk losing the medal they won in Beijing. This really isn’t anything too new for the super shady sport of weightlifting Following yet another Olympics marred with scandal Weightlifting Federation president Tamas Ajan just hopes the sport will be around in 2024.
China famously kicked some serious ass in 2008. Winning 51 gold medals and coming in first place; 8 of those golds came from weightlifting. The country did much worse in Rio, winning just 26 gold medals; 5 from weightlifting.
So far, the only Chinese athlete thrown out of this latest Games was swimmer Chen Xinyi, who didn’t manage to medal.