In the latest incident of alleged drug use among Chinese athle
TOKYO (AP) _ In the latest incident of alleged drug use among Chinese athletes, organizers of the recent World University Games say gold and silver medal-winning runner Du Xiujie has tested positive for a banned substance.
Du, who missed the gold by .22 seconds in the 400 meters Sept. 1 against Nigeria’s Olabisi Afolabi, is the only University Games athlete to have tested positive in the tests, organizers said today.
Pending a final decision by the FISU, the Geneva-based international university sports federation, Du will have to return the silver medal, said Takatoshi Chiyojima, an official of the organizing committee of the meet held in Fukuoka, southern Japan.
The medal would then belong to Russian Tatiana Tchebykina, who originally finished third. Ukraine’s Elena Rurak would move from fourth to third.
Du, a 23-year-old university freshman from Harbin, recorded some of her best times ever at the games, including a personal best 22.53 in the 200-meter run on Aug. 30, for which she won a gold.
She is not being asked to return the gold because she tested positive for a banned substance only after the 400-meter race.
Mitsubishi Chemical BCL, a chemical testing lab, found that after the 400-meter race, Du had strychnine in her system, a deadly poison that can be modified to yield a powerful stimulant for the central nervous system, Chiyojima said.
In international competitions, Chinese athletes have gained notoriety for sudden spurts in performance, followed by drug and steroid use scandals.
Chinese women runners burst onto the world scene in 1993 with a flurry of spectacular victories. They won six medals overall at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, in events ranging from the 1,500 meters to the 10,000 meters.
At the Asian Games in Hiroshima last October, Chinese swimmers and runners also turned in stunning performances in a wide range of events.
Running coach Ma Junren said the track performances were due partly to natural tonics, as well as turtle and worm fungus soups.
But four of his runners were among eleven Chinese athletes who tested positive for dehydrotestosterone, which acts as a steroid, at last year’s event. Seven were swimmers now banned from international competition for two years.
The scandal prompted calls for bans on Chinese swimmers in international amateur events and special investigations of Chinese training programs. The International Amateur Athletics Federation plans a special congress for November in Rio de Janeiro, at which it will vote on a new set of anti-doping rules.
In sharp contrast to their 1993 performance, no Chinese women even reached the final competition in the middle and long distance events at this year’s World Championships in Goteborg, Sweden.