China’s Swimmers Tested Positive. What Happens to Their Medals?

China’s Swimmers Tested Positive. What Happens to Their Medals?

Whenever a suspicion of doping arises in an Olympics, consideration can shift rapidly from the athletes who gained gold, silver and bronze medals to those who missed out.

On Saturday, The New York Times revealed an investigation into an unreported case by which 23 high Chinese swimmers examined optimistic for a robust banned drug in 2021, solely months earlier than the Tokyo Olympics. The swimmers — who made up about half of the Chinese swimming group at these Games — had been cleared by China’s antidoping authorities and the World Anti-Doping Agency and allowed to compete.

The episode has not solely alarmed consultants within the antidoping group, but in addition raised different questions on athletes who examined optimistic, and what comes subsequent: Which athletes? Which races?

And what concerning the medals they gained in them?

For now, the reply — each for the Chinese athletes and the handfuls of swimmers who completed behind them, on and off the medals stand — is that nothing has modified.

By evaluating the names of the 23 swimmers who examined optimistic with outcomes from the Games, The Times recognized 5 occasions by which Chinese swimmers who had examined optimistic for a banned substance gained medals:

The third day of the Tokyo Games opened with the primary of 4 medals for Zhang Yufei, a silver. Torri Huske of the United States was fourth, lacking out on the primary Olympic medal of her profession by one-hundredth of a second.

Three days later, Zhang claimed her second medal — and first gold — with an Olympic-record time. The Americans Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger touched the wall greater than a second behind to assert silver and bronze.

Just over an hour after profitable a person gold, Zhang helped China win a relay gold. China’s time, a world file, was practically half a second sooner than that of the United States group. The Americans additionally broke the earlier world file however went dwelling with the silver.

Wang Shun turned solely the second Chinese man to win a person swimming gold.

Britain set a world file in profitable the blended occasion, which was being held on the Olympics for the primary time. But China’s group edged Australia to win the silver, delivering Zhang’s fourth and remaining medal of the Tokyo Games.

Chinese antidoping officers and the World Anti-Doping Agency, the worldwide authority that oversees nationwide drug-testing applications, defended their actions in dealing with the case of the pre-Olympic doping positives in statements to The Times this week.

China mentioned it had acknowledged the optimistic assessments and notified WADA. But in a report created by China’s antidoping company and quietly submitted weeks earlier than the Olympics, the Chinese authorities mentioned their investigators concluded that the swimmers had ingested the banned substance unwittingly and in tiny quantities, and that no motion was warranted.

WADA, citing “an absence of any credible proof” to problem China’s model of occasions, defended its resolution to not take additional motion. It known as any criticism unsubstantiated, though it took a far more durable line in a case involving a Russian determine skater solely months later.

In that case, Russia was finally stripped of a group gold medal, and a number of international locations have appeals, searching for to improve their very own finishes.

On Friday, the International Olympic Committee declined to touch upon the optimistic assessments, saying solely that “anti-doping issues have been made unbiased from the I.O.C.,” and referring inquiries to WADA.

But with the antidoping company adamant that it acted accurately and inside its guidelines, there is no such thing as a indication that any of the outcomes of races might be affected, or any the medals reallocated.



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