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17 Chinese athletes fail doping tests in 2004
Updated: 2005-01-25 10:16

Altogether 17 Chinese athletes were tested positive in more than 4,000 doping tests done by the Chinese sports authorities in the year 2004, said a report from the Chinese Anti-doping Committee on Monday.

The positive rate of about 0.4 percent in China is lower than the international average rate of 1.6 percent, said Zhao Jian, an official from the committee.

The rate of positive tests in China in 2003 was also around 0.4 percent.

According to Zhao, the out-of-competition tests stood at 67 percent of the total 4009 urine tests in 2004. Furthermore, they also staged 644 blood tests.

Of the 17 drug users, five are from the body building, four from weightlifting, three from track and field, two from soccer, and one each from wrestling, shooting and cycling.

Sixteen offenders had already received punishments including fine and ban from competitions. The last one will be punished soon.

China's anti-doping fight has stepped into a new era with the birth of the Anti-doping Regulation early 2004.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has signed a decree making China's Anti-doping Regulation public. The Regulation marks a new epoch in China's war on drug cheats.

The image of Chinese sports was tainted in the 1990s following several high-profile positive incidents, notably by swimmers. Morethan 30 athletes and officials were axed from their squad after seven rowers failed drug tests in the lead up to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

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