Athletics officials said that China's long-distance runner, Sun
Yingjie, still has a chance to compete in the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games despite a likely two-year ban for her
having tested positive for steroids.
"Although Sun could be banned from competition for two years,
the ban could end in time for her to qualify for the 2008 Games.
The ban should start from the day she tested positive for steroid
use," said Feng Shuyong, vice director of Chinese Athletics
"If she can maintain her form, she could still run for China in
2008," Feng added.
Sun first tested positive for steroid use after her second-place
finish in the 10,000m event on October 17 during the National
A second sample, the B sample, was tested last Friday in the
presence of Sun and representatives from China's Athletics
Association and China's Anti-doping Committee.
The B sample was found to be identical with the A sample, which
tested positive for the banned male hormone, androsterone.
Sun and her coach Wang Dexian have claimed innocence. Wang, who
is also the coach of China's women's 5,000m Olympic champion Xing
Huina, suspects foul play.
He said that Sun was asked for her autograph after the race, and
then drank some water given to her by a stranger.
According to China's anti-doping code, 26-year-old Sun and
Wang could be slapped with a two-year ban each.
But a final decision has not been made yet.
"The final punishment will be made in line with the
investigation process of our administration. There won't be any
exceptions just because she is a star runner," said Luo Chaoyi,
vice president and secretary-general of the Chinese Athletic
According to Luo, the test results have been sent to Sun's local
association, the Locomotive Sports Association, and they are
allowed to ask for a hearing within five days.
"If Sun appeals, we will hold the hearing within 10 days
and if necessary, the administration will conduct further
investigations into the case," Luo said. "A final decision will be
made by the end of this year."
Neither Sun nor Wang has made any formal statement.
According to wire reports, Sun's father Sun Fengyou said that
Sun is concentrating on preparing evidence for any hearings in
Beijing that are expected to be held within the week.
"Sun will appeal to lighten the punishment but if she faces a
ban for as long as two years, she might choose to retire," her
father was quoted as saying.
(China Daily November 9, 2005)