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Tuesday, 18 July, 2000, 05:39 GMT
Disgraced Wu banned
China's Wu Yanyna who has failed a drugs test
China's Wu Yanyan has received a four-year ban
Disgraced Chinese swimming star Wu Yanyan has received a four year ban after being found guilty of taking anabolic steroids.

The world record holder for the 200 metres individual medley was also fined $964 (645) by the Chinese Swimming Association.

The 22-year-old failed a dope test and was immediately dropped by China's Olympic team preparing for Sydney in September.

Wu has denied having taken drugs but she failed a dope test following Olympic trials in May in Jinan city.

She said: "I've been treated unfairly, and I haven't taken any drugs.



I have no motive for taking drugs, it just doesn't make any sense at all
  Wu Yanyan

"I've won international championships and I'm a world record holder, so why should I take drugs for a competition like that?

"I have no motive for taking drugs, it just doesn't make any sense at all."

Wu went on to say that at international contests, where doping tests are much stricter than in China, she had never had any problems.

"Pretty ironic that I should be defeated not by foreigners, but by Chinese," she said.

Wu set the world record for the women's 200m individual medley in a time of two minutes 09.79 seconds in Shanghai at China's National games in October 1997.

Scandals

She went on to win at the distance in the world championships in January 1998.

After that win, her times dropped off only to improve suddenly at the national championships in May, leading to growing suspicions that she was involved in doping.

Her coach Wu Jicai was given a $482 (325) fine and banned for one year.

After dominating women's swimming internationally in the early 1990s, Chinese swimmers have been embroiled in a series of high profile doping scandals.

Seven swimmers tested positive at the 1994 Asian Games and four more were caught at the 1998 World Championships in Australia.

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See also:

14 Jul 00 |  Other Sports
Disgraced Wu leaves Olympic camp
13 Jul 00 |  SOL
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18 Jul 00 |  Other Sports
China's fall from grace
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