The Return Of Li Xuanxu Raises Questions Of Transparency & Process In Doping Cases

Li Xuanxu by Patrick B. Kraemer

It was September 7 last year when China revealed that Olympic teamster of 2008, 2012 (bronze, 400m medley) and 2016, Li Xuanxu had been handed a six months suspension for a positive doping test. She was one of three Chinese national swimming team members served suspensions of between six months and a year despite having tested positive for the same substance that disqualified teenager Chen Xinyi from the Olympic Games in Rio last year and the sport as a whole for two years. As Li Xuanxu- and the asterisk reported in China but not by FINA – returns, fair to ask: why are there Chinese doping cases in swimming health with in China but not on the published FINA case file?

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Attila Riez

Imho the real question is not if China is a doping country, but if it can be banned whilst representing one third of the global media coverage.
I clearly remember the time when we were wondering if they could swim at all, then their first champions came along and took on Egerszegi in Rome.

Craig Lord

“Took on Egerszegi in Rome” with a squad of doped swimmers, Attila. Never be shy to tell it as it was. seven of that squad subsequently tested positive – just a few weeks later… and almost all that squad was under the influence of Zhou Ming and associates who were banned for between 2 years and life (in some cases, reduced to eight years back in the calm of Chinese internal decision-making, apparently). My answer to your question, Attila: yes, it can be banned and should be banned if that is merited, regardless of size and TV audience. Abuse knows no numbers: it is wrong.

Attila Riez

Craig, If I am not shy, I must say strong words about the incompetency of the different authorities around the globe on this subject. I would say then that for long decades now this is simply spitting into the eyes of the clean athletes (and their families) who sacrifice half of their lives.
Egerszegi is one of the best examples. She started her carrier by beating out the GDR monsters from the water, then finished it in a pool crowded by Chinese dopers, who made her uncertain enough to scratch 100 back in Atlanta. In clear waters she could have been a seven time Olympic champion.

Craig Lord

Yes, Attila, quite so. I recall those events 1994-1996 – dreadful to watch and know what was happening, write about it – and have those governing the sport sit by, watch it all – and defend it on the basis of ‘we know nothing’

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