China’s hammer thrower shocked at doping result, insists on innocence

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Incheon: Chinese women’s hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu said that she was shocked at a positive doping result that denied her Asian Games gold medal.

Zhang, 28, became the first Chinese athlete caught doping in major sporting events since the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, where a number of positive cases involving Chinese swimmers were reported, reports Xinhua.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced Friday afternoon that the Chinese has been stripped of the women’s hammer throw gold medal after failing a pre-competition drug test.

“I have been notified by the Incheon Asian Games organising committee of a positive doping test done on me on Sept. 26. I am shocked, and I cannot accept it,” said Zhang.

A sample taken from Zhang two days before she won the title with 77.33 meters, was found to contain the banned substances Zeranol and its metabolite, the OCA said in a statement. Zeranol is approved for use as a growth promoter in livestock.

“The competitor has been disqualified from the competition as well as these Games and as such her accreditation canceled, and gold medal was withdrawn,” said the OCA statement.

“As a veteran athlete, I have been receiving anti-doping education for many years and strictly abiding by the anti-doping rules,” said Zhang.

“As an athlete who has been competing in numerous competitions over 15 years, I have been tested over a hundred times and have never had doping problems.

“I have never taken banned substance and I don’t know why banned substances surfaced in my sample. As an athlete, I regret bringing negative influence to the Chinese sports delegation and the Chinese Athletics Association for whatever reasons.”

Zhang added she would cooperate with investigators who are looking into the positive test.

“I will vindicate my rights and cooperate with all the concerned organisations to find out the truth and clear my name,” she said.

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