Former Chinese Olympic Doctor Accuses Country Of Systematic Doping
A former doctor for the Chinese Olympic team told German media that "tens of thousands of Chinese athletes" took performance-enhancing drugs in the '80s and '90s as part of a systematic government doping scheme, according to Alexander Pearson of DW. Xue Yinxian said, "There must have been more than 10,000 people involved. All international medals (won by Chinese athletes in that time) should be taken back." Xue's claim of systematic doping "contradicted previous statements by the Chinese government," which had denied any involvement in individual cases of Chinese athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs. Her claim also contradicted Chen Zhanghao, the Chinese Olympic team's chief doctor at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Games. In '12, Chen said that "about 50" Chinese athletes had taken "various performance-enhancing drugs during his tenure." Xue, who was the Chinese gymnastics team's chief medical supervisor in the '80s, said that Chinese authorities had "insisted that all sports teams had to use doping substances: football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, badminton, track and field, swimming, diving, gymnastics, weightlifting." She said, "If you refused to dope, you had to leave the team." She added that "the youth-age group teams used the substances -- the youngest were 11 years old" (DW, 10/21). The AFP reported Xue said that she was dismissed from working with the national Chinese team for "refusing to treat a gymnast with a banned substance" at the 1988 Games in Seoul, but kept working in "lower level Chinese sport." She said that she was "warned to keep quiet about doping in China" before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She claimed that there were attempts by the Chinese government to "intimidate her and police cars were often parked outside her home." She said that she was visited in her Beijing apartment by government officials. Xue: "They warned me against talking about doping substances" (AFP, 10/22).