WADA to investigate claims of Chinese swimming cover-up

Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:08pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Thursday it would investigate allegations that Chinese swimming covered up positive tests ahead of Olympic trials due to be held next month.

The Times newspaper reported claims by whistleblowers that five positive tests, two believed to have been failed in October and the others at the turn of the year, were suppressed "to avoid a storm".

WADA, which has already said it will probe earlier claims in the newspaper of 'systematic drug use' in Russian swimming, expressed concern.

"These are very serious allegations concerning Chinese Swimming that warrant further examination," it said in a statement.

"WADA is now fully scrutinising the information that The Times newspaper has passed on to us so that we can determine exactly what the appropriate steps are and so that we can address this matter head on."

China finished second to the United States in the swimming medal tables at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and top in the 2014 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia, with the host nation third.

Rebecca Adlington, who won the 400 and 800 metres freestyle titles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said swimmers at the Rio Games in August needed to be confident they were racing against 'clean' opponents.

"This is a subject that, as a former athlete, I know all about," said the Briton, now retired from competitive swimming.   Continued...

Britain's Rebecca Adlington wipes away tears after receiving her bronze medal on the podium during the women's 800m freestyle victory ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 3, 2012.   REUTERS/Michael Dalder