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August 14, 2000
Chinese runners face surprise dope test
Ace long distance coach Ma Junren's stable of runners were subjected to a special dope test by Chinese officials at their Qinghai Duo Ba training camp last week.
Ma and his runners were out on their routine training when the officials descended on the camp, waiting for the team to return.
Seven of Ma's runners, all part of China's track and field team, were subjected to urine and blood tests.
Ma later complained that the dope test had seriously disturbed his training plans.
Ma, whose stable of runners had burst on the world a few years back but had, in recent years, faded to a large extent, is expected to spearhead China's hopes of at least 16 golds at the upcoming Sydney Olympics.
China, which will field 350 athletes at Sydney and participate in 184 events spread over 25 games and sports, had won 16 golds at the 1996 Atlanta Games. 90 members of the Atlanta squad will be making the trip to Sydney.
Chinese hopes rest on events such as badminton, gymnastics, women's football, table tennis, women's judo and weightlifting.
Mail Sports Editor
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