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Olympics Scandal: 23 Chinese Swimmers Tested Positive for Banned Substance, No Punishment Given

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics ​saw 23 Chinese swimmers compete despite testing⁤ positive for a banned substance. The New York Times revealed this was⁣ concealed ‌through a deal with‌ Chinese officials. Zhang Yufei, a gold medalist, is set to participate in ⁤the Paris Olympics. Amid accusations⁢ of cover-up and doping, the FBI has stepped in, raising concerns about fairness and integrity in ‍international sports.


By Jack Davis April 22, 2024 at 7:53am

A new report claims 23 Chinese swimmers who tested positive for a banned substance — trimetazidine — were still allowed to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The report in The New York Times said the incident was hidden from the public after a deal was struck between Chinese officials and the group that oversees drug testing.

The report said multiple medals were won by athletes involved in the fiasco, including three gold medals. Gold medalist Zhang Yufei, one of the swimmers involved, is expected to participate in the Paris Olympic Games this summer.

China has brushed aside the tests saying that the swimmers involved took the substance by accident and in amounts so small it should not matter.

However, the Times reported that American officials and other experts said the World Anti-Doping Agency should at least have made the issue public.

The report said the agency was given “intelligence suggesting a cover-up and doping by Chinese swimmers” but never took any action.

The FBI is now involved on the basis of a 2020 law that gives it jurisdiction over doping in international sports.

The Chinese incident is vastly different from how WADA went very public in the case of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, who also tested positive for the same drug.

Statement from USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart on WADA’s Defense Tactics

— USADA (@usantidoping) April 20, 2024

Was a cover-up orchestrated to benefit China?

“The statute of limitations has not run out,” U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said in a text message Sunday, according to USA Today.

“Certainly if any new evidence is found after an actual, robust investigation — or fraud in the defense of the Chinese swimmers is found — then yes, it could be easily prosecuted. So it can and should be investigated and prosecuted by an independent prosecutor to get some justice for clean athletes, whatever that might end up being,” he said.

“If confirmed that Chinese swimmers were able to become Olympic champions in Tokyo despite previous evidence of doping, that would be a disaster for world sport,” she added. “This case is a slap in the face of all innocent and honest athletes.”

— USADA (@usantidoping) April 21, 2024

Tygart said the actions of the WADA were unfair to the athletes who competed.

“Our hearts ache for the athletes from the countries who were impacted by this potential cover-up and who may have lost podium moments, financial opportunities, and memories with family that can never be replaced,” he said.

“They have been deeply and painfully betrayed by the system. All of those with dirty hands in burying positive tests and suppressing the voices of courageous whistleblowers must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the rules and law,” he said.

“When leadership fails to comply with and enforce the rules, athletes are defrauded, their livelihoods are put at risk, and they lose the ability to succeed through talent, hard work, and perseverance alone.”

— USADA (@usantidoping) April 21, 2024

The WADA in a statement said it “stands by the results of its rigorous scientific investigation” into the case and was “astonished by the outrageous, completely false and defamatory remarks made by [Tygart], who has made very serious accusations against WADA in connection with the case,” according to CNN.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at [email protected].


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