china-steroidsIn preparation for the coming Summer Olympics in Beijing, and probably in response to the recent showing of a documentary in Germany about gene doping and steroid trade in China, Chinese officials are now intensifying their drive against suppliers of performance-enhancing drugs.

Those who have suffered the brunt of now embarrassed local anti-doping officials include manufacturers of steroids and peptide hormones, wholesalers, consumer outlets and websites.

The Earth Times has the complete report:

China has begun a clampdown on companies making drugs that can be used to enhance sporting performance ahead of next month’s Olympic Games in Beijing. Production bans, licence withdrawals and fines have all been used by the authorities, the national anti-doping agency (CHINADA) and other ministerial agencies reported Monday.

According to the reports, 257 companies which deal with or manufacture anabolic steroids and peptide hormones, 2,739 wholesalers and 340,000 consumer outlets were inspected.

As a result, 30 companies were ordered to suspend production while 25 firms had their licence to manufacture drugs which can be used for doping withdrawn.

Another 318 websites, which gave information on the sale of steroids and peptide
hormones, were also targeted.

“We have punished those who have broken the rules,” said Yan Jiangyung, spokeswoman for the Chinese state authority that overlooks nutrition and medicinal drugs.

Earlier this month, a German television documentary suggested that genetic doping is possible in China.

The documentary broadcast by the state-run ARD network showed a reporter, claiming to be a swimming coach, inquiring about performance- enhancing stem cell treatment for athletes in a Chinese hospital.

While Yan called on the ARD to hand over any information it had on Chinese medical practitioners who were involved in doping, a spokesman for the Health Ministry said genetic doping was not possible.

“I can say in agreement with international experts that such a therapy does not exist in China or elsewhere internationally,” said Mao Qunan.

With less than two weeks before the start of the Games, many consider the move to be a belated attempt to curb the use of these banned compounds. But China is under intense pressure from anti-doping agencies, particularly the World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA’s top gun John Fahey has been proclaiming that the 2008 Summer Olympics will be the cleanest ever.

From AFP:

Though Fahey refused to guarantee a completely drug-free Games, he said cheats are more likely to be caught by the doping agency this year than ever before.
“One has to recognise the question of doping in sport has been around now for a long time,” Fahey told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio.

“There’s been evidence that at successive games it’s occurred. (But) I can give this guarantee: there’s a far greater likelihood that anybody cheating or attempting to cheat in the Beijing Games will be caught than in any other time of our history.”

It is expected that around 4,500 tests for banned compounds will be implemented on participating athletes in the Beijing Olympics. This is significantly higher with those that had been carried out in Athens and Sydney, numbering to 3,700 and 2,800 tests respectively.