Intelligence Unit of the World Anti-Doping Agency would investigate claims that more than 10,000 Chinese athletes used banned substances.

Former Olympic team doctor Xue Yinxian made the claims and alleged that her comments were associated with athletes in the 1980s and 1990s. Yinxian claimed her services were terminated after she refused to provide a banned substance to a gymnast. The whistleblower added athletes as young as 11 were given performance enhancing drugs. She went on to add that China’s medals in major tournaments during that period were won through the use of banned substances. Yinxian went on to add that doping in China existed in a wide range of sports including swimming, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, diving, football, athletics, gymnastics, and weightlifting.

In a program on German channel ARD, Yinxian called for all medals awarded to athletes of the nation during that period to be withdrawn. The whistleblower, now seeking political asylum in Germany, said people in China only believed in doping. She also commented that anyone who took doping substances was seen to be defending the honor of the country and anyone against doping damaged the country and anyone who endangered the country now sits in prison. The former Olympic team doctor said anti-doping tests were conducted in China for the only purpose to ensure athletes of the country traveled to competitions without being caught.  The 79-year-old also made similar allegations in 2012.

In a statement, WADA said there would be lots of difficulties prosecuting cases that happened decades ago. In 2003, the WADA Code was introduced and the statute of limitations for prosecuting code violations is 10 years. However, it added that the World Anti-Doping Agency will ensure that, if action is warranted and feasible under the World Anti-Doping Code, the necessary and appropriate steps will be taken. The agency said it as a first step has asked its independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) team to initiate an investigative process in order to collect and analyze available information in coordination with external partners.

Last year, it was reported by Chinese state media that all those runners trained under Ma Junren – better known as “Ma’s Army” – were forced to take large doses of illegal drugs over the years. Wang Junxia, one of the most prominent of those runners, once detailed the regime of state-sponsored doping in a letter. In a letter reportedly signed by nine of Wang’s teammates, the Chinese former long-distance runner had written that Junren forced us to take a large dose of illegal drugs. In 1997, Wang retired from the sport having never failed a drugs test. She was honored with a place in the IAAF Hall of Fame for her achievements in 1993. A probe into the claims was confirmed by the International Association of Athletics Federations. The IAAF confirmed any admission of guilt could see Wang’s world records scrapped if legitimacy of the letter is proven.

Chen Zhanghao, the chief physician to the Chinese national teams, had admitted in 2012 that doping took place in China.

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