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Sun Suspended Two Years, Coach Gets Life Ban
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China's top long distance runner, Sun Yingjie, has been handed a two-year suspension for doping, while her coach, Wang Dexian, was slapped with a lifelong ban for a second violation of anti-doping rules. In addition, both were fined RMB 10,000 yuan each.


The Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) announced its decision on Thursday.


Sun's ban from competition runs from October 20, 2005 to October 19, 2007. Sun tested positive for the banned substance androsterone last October at the National Games.


In Wang's case, the CAA imposed a lifelong ban having taken into consideration the fact that Wang was also involved in the 1995 doping case of runner Zuo Qingmei, then also under his coaching.


With the ban, Wang has lost his position as national head coach.


Sun has to subject herself to four drugs tests during the two-year ban if she is to resume competing when the ban expires, according to the CAA. Sun herself faces a life ban if she fails or misses any of these tests.


CAA spokesman Yang Lifeng told Xinhua News Agency that Sun and Wang's ban would not affect the training of the national distance running team as another coach Hu Rong has been put in charge temporarily.


He said that Olympic 10,000 meters champion Xing Huina, who was coached by Wang, would be training with Hu for the moment.


Sun has protested her innocence, insisting that she was set up and even won a court case in December against an athlete she accused of spiking her drinks, which caused her to fail the doping test. But the CAA upheld the ban citing that an athlete should be responsible for what he or she drinks at all times.


Sun was one of the biggest Olympic hopes for China, and still has the chance to run in the 2008 Beijing Games post-ban.


(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2006)

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