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‘Team USA Was Cheated’: Olympics Allowed Chinese Swimmers to Compete Despite Testing Positive for Banned Substances

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This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

A report revealed that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for a banned substance at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics but were allowed to compete anyway in a secret decision by anti-doping officials.

The swimmers tested positive for TMZ, a prescription heart medication banned in sports.

“Any time there’s a situation where positive tests aren’t clearly identified and gone through a proper process and protocol, it allows for doubt to creep into athletes’ minds who are competing clean,” stated Greg Meehan, the U.S. women’s coach at the time. “When they’re going into competitions, you can’t help but think, ‘Am I competing in a clean event?’”

This was kept hidden for three years and only recently disclosed, angering US swimmers who believe they were cheated out of medals by the Chinese team.

A British gold medalist is calling for an investigation, while the US coaches and CEO of USADA have criticized the lack of transparency and fairness in how the Chinese positives were handled compared to other countries.

WADA confirmed the decision but claimed the positives were due to inadvertent contamination, a view criticized by USADA for the secrecy around the case.

“As part of its review, WADA collected additional, unpublished scientific information on TMZ and consulted with independent scientific experts to test the contamination theory and also whether low doses of TMZ could have benefited the athletes during a swimming competition event,” the World Anti-Doping Agency noted.

WADA “ultimately concluded that it was not in a position to disprove the possibility that contamination was the source of TMZ and it was compatible with the analytical data in the file,” the agency said.

“WADA also concluded that, given the specific circumstances of the asserted contamination, the athletes would be held to have no fault or negligence,” the agency stated. “As such, and based on the advice of external counsel, WADA considered that an appeal was not warranted.”

“It’s even more devastating to learn the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency secretly, until now, swept these positives under the carpet by failing to fairly and evenly follow the global rules that apply to everyone else in the world,” United States Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygar said. “Our hearts ache for the athletes from the countries who were impacted by this potential coverup and who may have lost podium moments, financial opportunities, and memories with family that can never be replaced.”

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