China vows clean Olympic squad with more anti-doping measures
Published: Feb 15, 2022 08:57 PM
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics photo:VCG

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics photo:VCG

The China Anti-Doping Agency (CADA) said on Tuesday during a briefing with Beijing 2022 organizers that Team China will play clean and win clean medals, amid the alleged doping controversy over 15-year-old Russian prodigy Kamila Valieva, which has made the anti-doping issue a hot topic. 

Anti-doping is the consensus of the international community, and winning a gold medal fairly, in style and drug-free is the pursuit of Chinese society, said CADA director Chen Zhiyu. 

Chen said compared to previous Games, CADA has implemented stricter, more comprehensive and higher precautionary measures for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

The anti-doping monitoring of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics began five months before the competition, and 1,025 doping tests for athletes were conducted prior to the Games. But monitoring of the Beijing 2022 Games began just one month after the PyeongChang 2018 ended, with over 7,000 samples collected, making it the longest anti-doping period in China's Olympic preparations, according to Chen.

CADA had conducted three rounds of screening of Chinese athletes since December 2021, collecting about 1,700 samples, Chen noted.

CADA has taken the lead in applying dried blood spot (DBS) testing technology, which not only has the advantage of portability, easy storage, and less blood drawing, but also can expand the scope of detecting forbidden substances. DBS testing was officially used for the first time at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. 

To prevent Chinese national team athletes from taking drugs containing banned substances by mistake, CADA has developed a safety medication inquiry system for athletes. The drug list of Peking Union Medical College Hospital is reviewed by experts to provide a reference and guarantee for the safe drug use of athletes, and issue warning notices in a timely manner for doping problems in food, drugs and nutrition products.

Chen noted that CADA focuses on early detection, early prevention and early solution, and works with a zero tolerance attitude. "Our Chinese national team will be clean in the competition," Chen stressed.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Witold Banka expressed his satisfaction with anti-doping work for Beijing 2022, according to Xinhua News Agency. Olivier Niggli, director general of WADA, said the Beijing 2022 anti-doping program is quite comprehensive. He said Beijing's pre-Games testing program is the largest ever in the numbers of tests and organizations involved.

The crime of impeding the anti-doping management has been added to the amendment to China's Criminal Law and came into force on March 1, 2021. Analysts said this is the strongest measure to show zero tolerance at the national level. 

It will greatly increase the severity of punishment and deter doping activities, analysts said.