|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
|August 28, 2000||
China hopes to avoid drugs shame
China said on Sunday they aimed in the Sydney Olympics to surpass the 16 gold medals they took home from Atlanta in 1996 and to avoid the doping scandals that have marred past triumphs.
Unveiling a final team of 311 athletes, Chinese Olympic Committee President Yuan Weimin listed two objectives for the 107 men and 204 women competing in Sydney.
"One is to surpass the medal haul from the Atlanta Games four years ago, and the other is to succeed not only from the athletic but also from the spiritual perspective," he told a news conference in Beijing.
The "spiritual" target was a dope-free Sydney for the Asian sports powerhpouse, Yuan said as he underscored an anti-doping drive that included blood tests and out-of-competition testing.
Yuan said China hoped they could maintain the fourth place in the final medal standings they took four years ago with the 309 athletes who went to Atlanta. He predicted stiff competition from France and from hosts Australia for fourth place.
The top Chinese Olympic official declined to predict a total medal haul, but estimated China could win as many as 20 golds, with strong showings expected in weightlifting, gymnastics, table tennis, shooting, badminton, diving and judo.
China caught 16 of their athletes taking drugs last year, including seven in track and field and five weightlifters. Some 10 Chinese swimmers and swimming coaches were suspended for doping offences in 1999.
And last month, world champion swimmer Wu Yanyan tested positive for an anabolic steroid and was banned for four years.
China hopes the testing can erase the stigma and lighten the baggage the swimmers in particular take to Australia next month.
Chinese swimmers were stripped of nine of their 23 gold medals at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima after seven of them failed drug tests.
Four more Chinese swimmers returned positive dope tests at the 1998 Perth world championships while another and her coaches were caught trying to smuggle a hormone through Sydney airport.
Chinese ahtletes would compete in every Olypmic sport but baseball, handball and equestrian events, Yuan said.
China-related Olympic stories:
Mail Sports Editor
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK