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China to continue anti-doping measures for Paralympics
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China's drug watchdog planned to keep close watch on the production and sale of performance-enhancing drugs during the upcoming Beijing Paralympics, as was the case during the recent Olympic Games.

State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) inspectors were conducting checks on pharmaceutical companies and retailers in the Chinese capital and Qingdao, a Paralympic co-host city in the eastern Shandong Province, SFDA spokeswoman Yan Jiangying said on Wednesday.

The inspections between Tuesday and Thursday aimed to ensure no violation of the country's anti-doping regulation before and during the Paralympics, scheduled for Sept. 6 to 17, Yan told a press conference.

The rule, which took effect in March 2004, set stringent requirements for the supervision and management of performance-enhancing drug producers, including market entry, export approval and warning labels for athletes.

Yan said anti-doping efforts during the Beijing Olympics in August were a success because no illegal production or trading of performance-enhancing drug were discovered.

"The SFDA will adopt the same and strict anti-doping polices for the Paralympic Games because they are as important as the Olympics."

Yan said John Fahey, the World Anti-Doping Agency president, had credited China's comprehensive anti-doping work, which involved the SFDA, the ministries of health, public security and industry, state administrations of customs, commerce and sports, and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG).

According to the regulation, medical staff should be trained to properly prescribe and use medicine containing performance-enhancing substances. Consultation should be provided on the purchase of drugs labeled "athletes use with special caution."

Since March, the SFDA had ordered all pharmaceutical plants should print the warning on medicine packages that contained stimulants, so as to prevent athletes from mistakenly using banned drugs during the Olympics and Paralympics.

From April, the administration, in cooperation with public security and health departments, had inspected drug makers and retailers for illegal production and the selling of stimulants.

(Xinhua News Agency September 4, 2008)


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