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Chinese marathon champ banned for eight years over doping

Wang Jiali pictured in April 2017 after winning the women’s marathon at the 13th Chinese National Games © OSPORTS/AFP

SHANGHAI, China, Jan 10China’s national marathon champion and Olympian Wang Jiali has been banned for eight years after failing a drugs test, her second violation, the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) said on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old, who won gold at the 2017 National Games, tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO during out-of-competition testing in August and her career now appears over.

The CAA also fined Wang 40,000 yuan ($6,000) and banned her coach Lyu Qiang for life.

Wang — who came 57th in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympics — was banned for two years in 2013 for a previous violation, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Separately, China’s Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) said it uncovered 77 violations last year, calling it proof that the country is stamping down on drugs cheats ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

China this week banned speed skater Shi Xiaoxuan for two years for failing a drugs test, the second such case to hit the national team in quick succession.

CHINADA said it conducted a record 17,000 tests last year and vowed to root out drug cheats.

“In the past year we improved a lot, including testing methods, test plans and management,” Chen Zhiyu, CHINADA deputy head, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

“As the workload continues to grow, we have maintained a high level of accuracy in lab tests and better planning led to more effective control, so we found many more positive cases last year.”

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Last year’s testing returned 132 positive results, but in 55 cases the athletes were not punished because CHINADA ruled that they had tested positive for clenbuterol due to food contaminated with the banned performance-enhancer, Xinhua said.

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