Anti-doping agency set up for Games

By Chen Xiangfeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-11-13 07:37

The nation's first anti-doping agency was set up Monday to ensure a clean 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

"We want to show the world our resolve to fight doping," said Duan Shijie, deputy director of the State General Administration of Sports (SGAS), the governing body of all sports in China.

"The agency is a significant development in China's anti-doping program. It will make our work independent, authoritative and professional," he added.

The China Anti-Doping Agency (CADA) - at the National Olympic Sports Center - has 60 staff, from the Research Institute for Sport Medicine, the SGAS and the Chinese Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Commission.

CADA will act as a testing site during the Games and will coordinate a current campaign against illegal factories that make steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

Duan said rapid progress has been made in anti-doping efforts during the past 20 years; and the agency now meets international standards.

In the latest major drug case in the country, top triathlete Wang Hongni was last month banned for two years by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) after testing positive for exogenous metabolites of testosterone during an out-of-competition drug test on August 24.

Wang is the second high-profile Chinese athlete to be banned for doping since the 2004 Athens Games - long-distance runner Sun Yingjie tested positive at the Chinese National Games in 2005.

To make the Beijing Games a "Clean Olympics", 9,424 athletes were tested last year and another 10,000 are expected to be tested this year. The number of doping tests at the Beijing Games will increase to 4,500, up from 3,700 in Athens.

Duan added that the establishment of CADA will "help build a professional team to concentrate on anti-doping work in the long run".

The country's first anti-doping program was launched in the 1980s.

In 1992, the Chinese Anti-Doping Commission was established. Three years later, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed the Sport Law of China, which stipulates that "prohibited substances, and methods are banned in all sports".

The campaign got a fillip on March 1, 2004 when the Anti-Doping Regulation of China, issued by the State Council, came into force.

It tightens control on banned drugs and prescribes criminal penalties to serious offenders.

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