China's Chen a no-show after doping positive

Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:24pm EDT
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RIO DE JANEIRO/BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Olympic swimmer Chen Xinyi was a no-show at the women's 50 meter freestyle heats on Friday after Chinese state media said she had failed a dope test at the Rio Games.

The Xinhua news agency, citing the country's swimming association (CSA), said Chen had tested positive for a banned substance on Aug. 7 in the latest doping scandal to mar competition at the Games.

Chen was listed on the official start sheets on Friday as the heats got under way and then recorded on the results as DNS (did not start).

Controversies over doping overshadowed the build-up to Rio and, far from dying down as events got under way, have flared anew as U.S. and Australian competitors have branded their Russian and Chinese rivals drug cheats.

Chen, 18, failed a test for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide and had applied to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a hearing to look into the matter, Xinhua said.

It added that the CSA had required Chen to cooperate with the investigation.

"If the assertion is true, the CSA will earnestly implement anti-doping regulations and safeguard legal interests according to law," Xinhua cited an unnamed CSA official as saying in a statement.

"The Chinese Swimming Association resolutely opposes the use of banned substances, will actively cooperate with the investigation by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and respect its final ruling," the official said.

Hydrochlorothiazide, known as a masking agent, is a banned substance because it can be used to spur weight loss and cover up the presence of other illegal drugs by diluting urine collected in doping tests.   Continued...

Gold medallist Chen Xinyi of China competes to win the women's 100m butterfly final swimming competition at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne