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China’s Swimmers Examined Constructive. What Occurs to Their Medals?

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Every time a suspicion of doping arises in an Olympics, consideration can shift shortly from the athletes who gained gold, silver and bronze medals to those who missed out.

On Saturday, The New York Instances revealed an investigation into an unreported case wherein 23 high Chinese language swimmers examined constructive for a robust banned drug in 2021, solely months earlier than the Tokyo Olympics. The swimmers — who made up about half of the Chinese language swimming crew at these Video games — had been cleared by China’s antidoping authorities and the World Anti-Doping Company and allowed to compete.

The episode has not solely alarmed specialists within the antidoping group, but in addition raised different questions on athletes who examined constructive, and what comes subsequent: Which athletes? Which races?

And what concerning the medals they gained in them?

For now, the reply — each for the Chinese language athletes and the handfuls of swimmers who completed behind them, on and off the medals stand — is that nothing has modified.

By evaluating the names of the 23 swimmers who examined constructive with outcomes from the Video games, The Instances recognized 5 occasions wherein Chinese language swimmers who had examined constructive for a banned substance gained medals:

The third day of the Tokyo Video games opened with the primary of 4 medals for Zhang Yufei, a silver. Torri Huske of the USA was fourth, lacking out on the primary Olympic medal of her profession by one-hundredth of a second.

Three days later, Zhang claimed her second medal — and first gold — with an Olympic-record time. The Individuals Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger touched the wall greater than a second behind to say silver and bronze.

Simply over an hour after profitable a person gold, Zhang helped China win a relay gold. China’s time, a world report, was practically half a second sooner than that of the USA crew. The Individuals additionally broke the earlier world report however went dwelling with the silver.

Wang Shun turned solely the second Chinese language man to win a person swimming gold.

Britain set a world report in profitable the combined occasion, which was being held on the Olympics for the primary time. However China’s crew edged Australia to win the silver, delivering Zhang’s fourth and closing medal of the Tokyo Video games.

Chinese language antidoping officers and the World Anti-Doping Company, the worldwide authority that oversees nationwide drug-testing applications, defended their actions in dealing with the case of the pre-Olympic doping positives in statements to The Instances this week.

China stated it had acknowledged the constructive checks and notified WADA. However in a report created by China’s antidoping company and quietly submitted weeks earlier than the Olympics, the Chinese language authorities stated their investigators concluded that the swimmers had ingested the banned substance unwittingly and in tiny quantities, and that no motion was warranted.

WADA, citing “an absence of any credible proof” to problem China’s model of occasions, defended its determination to not take additional motion. It known as any criticism unsubstantiated, though it took a far more durable line in a case involving a Russian determine skater solely months later.

In that case, Russia was finally stripped of a crew gold medal, and a number of international locations have appeals, searching for to improve their very own finishes.

On Friday, the Worldwide Olympic Committee declined to touch upon the constructive checks, saying solely that “anti-doping issues have been made impartial from the I.O.C.,” and referring inquiries to WADA.

However with the antidoping company adamant that it acted accurately and inside its guidelines, there isn’t any indication that any of the outcomes of races might be affected, or any the medals reallocated.

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