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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
China told to increase drug tests
Beijing 2008 will be China's biggest ever sporting event
The Beijing Olympics are less than a year away
World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound has urged China to increase the number of doping tests they carry out on their athletes.

China, which will host next year's Olympics, has suffered several doping scandals in recent years.

Pound wants the authorities to "go the extra mile" to show the world it is serious about cracking down on drugs.

"They're increasing the number of tests but they're not doing as many as they probably should," he said.

Pound will travel to China next month to meet officials from the Olympic organising committee and said he would be "very direct" in telling them what needed to be done.

"The central government, I think, is pretty committed to having an effective anti-doping program," he said.

"They, more than anyone, understand the risk, reputational and otherwise."

Yes, there were scandals but we've already learned the lesson and we are making progress

Zhao Jian
Chinese anti-doping head

He added: "We've tried to persuade them they should make this effort because they do have a record which is not generally known or acknowledged in China. But everybody outside of China knows it."

Zhao Jian, head of the Anti-Doping Commission for the Chinese Olympic Committee, said in June that tests this year would increase to 10,000 from 9,000 last year - with 70% out-of-competition.

"Yes, there were scandals but we've already learned the lesson and we are making progress," he said recently.

"From the 1990s, whatever difficulties we've faced we've never hidden any positive cases."

Pound said he would also push for a crackdown on Chinese internet sites that sell performance-enhancing drugs.

"It's a big problem and a big country," he said. "They are like the United States, which would like to be drug free but it's not.

"There are pockets in sports, teams, clubs that are actively involved in doping and have no real intention of changing unless they get caught."

China steps up anti-drugs effort
21 Apr 05 |  Sport Homepage

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