Chinese athletes must pass exam to compete at National Games

09:02, October 20, 2009      

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Chinese athletes at the track and field events must pass a written test on the fight against doping to qualify for the 11th National Games.

Du Zhaocai, director of the Chinese Athletics Association, said on Monday that those who failed the anti-doping test would not be allowed to compete in the top national-level sports gala.

According to Du, all the 970 athletes registered for the Games, chosen by a random draw, had been divided into two parts to take the exams.

The test mainly consisted of three aspects, the harms to the doping offenders, anti-doping policy and self-protection knowledge. The final 500 athletes or more took the test on Monday night, one day prior to the opening of the athletics slated for Oct. 21 to 26.

Among them, Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang had taken the test separately in hometown last month before the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, where the Athens Olympic gold medallist made a strong comeback in 13.15 since his shock withdrawal from the Beijing Olympics.

Zhang Wenxiu, the women's hammer throw bronze medallist at Beijing Olympics, led a oath together with all the athletes before the exams on Monday night, saying "we will deliver clean competitions for our honour, health and career."

Chinese athletics was at the heart of several major doping scandals in the past editions of the Games and the Chinese sports authorities has spared no efforts to get rid of the problems in recent years.

Guo Linna, one of the Henan provincial rowing team, tested positive for banned drugs in an October 12 test, which was the first doping case at the ongoing 11th Games.

Guo's case also reminded Chinese athletics of long-distance runner Sun Yingjie who received a two-year ban for doping violation at the 2005 National Games.

"We will never allow the same case to happen again at 11th Games. It was the big shame of the whole Chinese athletics," said Du.

Source: Xinhua
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