Two Chinese Athletes Lose 2008 Reanalysis Appeal, China Faces Suspension

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals of two Chinese weightlifters who were fighting their positive doping tests as a result of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Reanalysis Testing. The IOC retested samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics to catch those who were illegally doping by using today’s better technology.

Two of those athletes caught up in the reanalysis testing were Cao Lei (75kg) and Liu Chunhong (69kg). The two Chinese athletes tested positive from the 2008 Olympics and were required to return their medals.

The CAS heard the athletes’ appeals, but decided in favor of the IOC’s decision. Both athletes were found to have GHRP-2, a drug that stimulates production of growth hormone, in their system. The testing technology available in 2008 was unable to detect GHRP-2.

These two cases now bring China’s reanalysis doping total to three. Chen Xiexia (48kg) was also disqualified by the IOC.

The fallout of these failed tests means that Russia’s Oksana Slivenko and Kazakhstan’s Alla Vazhenina will be reassigned the gold medals from the 2008 Olympics. Chen’s medal was already given to Taipei’s Chen Wei-ling.

China Faces Ban from IWF

The three doping cases now means that China is subject to the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) new rules stating that a country with three or more positive drug tests can be banned for up to four years. However, because it is China’s first major run-in with doping that many believe China will only face a one-year ban.

The IWF has already formed special committees to look into the sport’s doping epidemic and is evaluating how to move forward. The IWF must “deliver a satisfactory report to the IOC on how they will address the massive doping problem this sport is facing,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. That report must be presented to the IOC by December 2017.

Whether this looming report plays a factor in how the IWF punishes China is yet to be seen. Stay tuned as the story develops.

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