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|Tuesday, August 08, 2000, updated at 15:15(GMT+8)|
China Leads Fight Against Drug Abuse"We can lose gold medals, but we cannot lose the battle against drugs" - this statement could sum up China's hard efforts to fight drug abuse among athletes during the last 10 years, according to China Daily.
Before the 1980's, Chinese sports circles knew little about the use of illegal substances in sports meets. To counter the rising problem of doping, China established its first anti-doping center in Beijing. The facility won recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in December 1989.
The same year, sports authorities issued a "three-strict" policy - strict prevention, strict testing and strict punishment.
With the "three-strict" policy in mind, Chinese sports circles have done such a good job during the past 10 years that Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC President, praised China as one of the leading countries in the fight against illegal drugs.
In 1999, the doping control center conducted a total of 3,505 tests, over 20 times more than the 165 tests in 1990. Random off-season examinations account for half of the total tests conducted annually.
Blood testing was introduced in 1998, catching four athletes for drug use the following year.
From 1989-99, 122 athletes tested positive, and were severely punished in accordance with relevant rules. Last month, Wu Yanyan, world record holder of the women's 200m individual medley, was banned for four years by the Chinese Swimming Association, after she failed tests at the National Olympic Trials.
China spent nearly US$500,000 in purchasing advanced testing equipment last year. For 11 consecutive years, Beijing's anti-doping centre has passed the IOC assessment. The efforts and achievements demonstrate a solid determination and ability by Chinese administrators to combat drug abuse, say officials.
Despite some success, Chinese sports leaders say the problems is still serious. Though widely acclaimed for its anti-doping efforts and accomplishments, China has undergone various doping scandals, such as the case in Hiroshima in 1994 when 11 Chinese athletes tested positive for drug use.
"Therefore, we must keep fully alert on this issue to prevent individuals from tarnishing the credit of the motherland," a white paper jointly-issued by the State Sports General Administration and the Chinese Olympic Committee said.
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