Revelation of Chinese Swimmers Testing Positive

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The revelation that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for a banned drug seven months before the Tokyo Olympics but were secretly cleared and allowed to continue competing has exposed a bitter rift inside the fight against doping in international sports.

Details of the 2021 Episode

A New York Times investigation uncovered previously unreported details of the 2021 episode, in which a contingent of Chinese swimmers, including nearly half of the team that China sent to the Tokyo Games, tested positive for a banned prescription heart medicine that can enhance performance.

Global Antidoping Reactions

The incident stirred strong reactions within the global antidoping community. An American Olympian expressed feeling cheated by the situation, a British gold medalist called for lifetime bans for the swimmers involved, and a feud between global antidoping officials and their U.S. counterparts escalated.

“Any time there’s a situation where positive tests aren’t clearly identified and gone through a proper process and protocol, it allows for doubt to creep into athletes’ minds who are competing clean,” said Greg Meehan, the Stanford University coach who led the U.S. women’s team at the Tokyo Games.

The fallout comes less than 100 days before the Paris Olympics, raising concerns about the integrity of the Games and the importance of global antidoping efforts in preserving fair play and athletes’ careers.

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