A “warning penalty” will be issued to swimmers Wang Lizhuo and An Jiabao after both tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol, according to an announcement by the Chinese Swimming Association.

Clenbuterol is a performance enhancing drug, which is usually used by athletes and non-athletes during cutting cycles, and the substance is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list.

The CSA, in a terse statement posted online, said it would also issue warning and finding An’s Tianjin club and Wang’s Chinese Navy team besides issuing fines on their coaches. The CSA said the coaches will each face fines equivalent to the cost of five stimulant detection tests, amounting to 5,000 Yuan ($767.94).  The Chinese Swimming Association also said the unit overseeing athletes for the Tianjin Swimming Association and the Navy’s Swimming and Diving team will each get a warning and a penalty equivalent to the cost of 10 doping tests. Decision of the CSA was in accordance with the anti-doping rules of FINA, the world governing body of swimming, and doping management regulations.

In a statement, FINA said it was bound to confidentiality by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code but added it would establish whether any allegations require further investigation. A statement by FINA reads there are a small number of cases of failed doping controls by Chinese swimmers currently being investigated under the jurisdiction of CHINADA, the WADA-recognized Chinese Anti-Doping Agency. The statement further reads FINA and WADA are both fully aware of these cases, but we are bound by confidentiality until the moment an athlete is actually banned.

Reacting to the allegations, WADA Spokesman Ben Nichols said these are very serious allegations concerning Chinese swimming that warrant further examination. Nichols added WADA is now fully scrutinizing the information that The Times newspaper has passed on to us so that we can determine exactly what the appropriate steps are and so that we can address this matter head on.

The identities of An and Wang were revealed after the Chinese Swimming Association last week announced that six swimmers had failed doping tests during the 2015-16 season. The CSA identified the third swimmer as Chinese Navy’s Zhao Ying. The swimmer also tested positive for Clenbuterol in an out-of-competition test but has not yet been punished.

A few days back, the use of doping stimulants in Chinese swimming caught worldwide attention after it was announced by the World Anti-Doping Agency that it was presently investigating claims that Chinese sports authorities were suppressing five positive tests for “avoiding a storm”.

The Chinese anti-doping agency (CHINADA) denied claims published by The Times newspaper that it was “covering up” the tests. CHINADA argued that it was following the protocols by protecting the identities of the swimmers while test procedures and hearings were still underway.

The Chinese Swimming Association also announced that three other unnamed Chinese swimmers tested positive for the prohibited diuretic hydrochlorothiazide in out-of-competition tests in January. Zhao Jian, the deputy director of the Chinese anti-doping agency (CHINADA), remarked last week that CHINDA would soon release results and punishments within 20 days after the relevant association makes its respective punishments.

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