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Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 14:50 UK

Pork chops blamed for Chinese judoka's failed drug test

China judo champion Tong Wen
Tong Wen won gold for China at the Beijing Olympics

The coach of China's Olympic judo champion Tong Wen has blamed pork chops for her positive test for the banned substance Clenbuterol.

Tong, the 78kg category winner in Beijing, has been banned for two years and stripped of her 2009 world title.

But her coach Wu Weifeng believes China's food safety problems were responsible for the positive test.

"She trained in Europe and was sick of the food so we gave her a lot of pork chops when she came home," said Wu.

Clenbuterol is used to prevent animals like pigs getting fat, but has been used illegally by athletes to build up muscle.

Tong's test is the first positive test by a Chinese Olympic champion but China's top backstroke swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng also blamed pork for his failed test for Clenbuterol before the Beijing Olympics.

He was banned for life despite claiming he had eaten too much roast pork while at a barbecue with friends before the test.

Tong, 27, is China's most successful judoka with three world titles in her class between 2005-2009.

Chinese sports authorities have warned she could face further disciplinary action, including a four-year ban that could end her dreams of gold in London 2012.

Tong is not the first athlete to have an unusual excuse for failing a drug test.

In 1998, former Olympic bronze medallist Dennis Mitchell was banned for two years by athletics governing body the IAAF after a test showed high levels of testosterone.

Mitchell had originally escaped a ban from USA Track and Field, after claiming that the high levels of the substance were a result of having sex at least four times the night before and drinking five bottles of beer.

But the IAAF did not accept this and overturned the decision to clear Mitchell.

Cyclist Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for excess levels of testosterone blamed the result on drinking whiskey the night before the test.

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Burton and Fallon's guide to judo
23 May 08 |  Judo

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Coach: Olympic champion Tong's doping offence is honest mistake - 28 hrs ago
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