Doping scandal: The biggest controversy of the 2024 Paris Olympics?

Doping scandal: The biggest controversy of the 2024 Paris Olympics?

FRANCE-The question lingering over the swimming community worldwide isn’t how many medals American Katie Ledecky or French Leon Marchand will win in Paris with two months until the US Olympic swimming trials and three months until the 2024 Olympic Games. Rather, it’s this: 23 elite Chinese swimmers, who had all been advised for years not to eat anything they don’t trust, were exposed to a prescription heart medication that is only accessible in tablet form and is outlawed. How did this medication get into the kitchen of the hotel? 

Background of the doping scandal

The 23 Chinese swimmers were permitted to compete and, in some cases, win medals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games despite testing positive for the same prohibited substance, trimetazidine (TMZ), which Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was found to have taken, according to reports from the New York Times and German public broadcaster ARD. The World Anti-Doping Agency, which spent months fighting to prosecute Valieva for using a precisely identical justification, obviously believed the Chinese version and concentrated on the little doses of the medicine that the swimmers appeared to have taken. The Russian adolescent said she was exposed to her grandfather’s TMZ when the drug found its way into a strawberry pie he baked, which she then consumed, in a narrative that is still circulating more than two years after the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Heightened scrutiny in the lead-up to Paris 2024

On Monday, representatives of the top sports anti-doping organization in the world hurried to contain a controversy involving 23 Chinese Olympic and elite swimmers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Less than a hundred days before the Paris Summer Olympics, the issue is related to adverse drug tests that were obtained in 2021 but were never made public by Chinese officials or the World Anti-drug Agency (WADA). WADA President Witold Banka declared, “We had no evidence of wrongdoing,” at a news conference that frequently descended into hostility. “WADA carefully researched and compiled with all legal procedures at every turn. We would do the exact same action if we could go back and change things.” China‘s athletes, according to Banka, are “innocent” and “not a doping case involving cheaters.” He asserted that WADA was under no duty to ban them from competing or notify international sports authorities about the situation.

Recent revelations and controversies

Critics, however, asserted that the controversy raises serious concerns regarding the integrity of the worldwide testing framework intended to maintain the integrity of Olympic competition and indicated a “potential cover-up”. Travis Tygart, president of the US The Anti-Doping Agency, or USADA, stated, “It’s crushing to see that 23 Chinese swimmers had positive tests for a potent performance-enhancing drug on the eve of the 2021 Olympic Games.” “It’s even more devastating to learn that the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency secretly, until now, swept these positives under the carpet,” Tygart said in a statement. Prior to the Tokyo Games in June 2021, WADA now concedes that it learned of around two dozen Chinese swimmers who tested positive for drugs.

Anti-doping measures and response

The 60 urine samples were actually taken by Chinese sports officials months earlier at a swimming tournament in January 2021, according to WADA officials during Monday’s news briefing. 

Following several months of inaction, the Chinese submitted a hypothesis to WADA suggesting that the athletes had unintentionally come into contact with a highly potent performance-enhancing substance called trimetazidine, or TMZ. How TMZ, a restricted narcotic, may have entered the kitchen or got to the sportsmen has not been explained. 

Additionally, WADA representatives revealed on Monday that they used samples and data supplied by China for their examination rather than conducting an independent investigation on the ground. Eventually, they agreed with China’s argument that there had been no intentional misconduct. WADA said that the COVID outbreak made it more difficult to enter China in order to conduct a more thorough examination.

Boycott Pairs Olympics 2024

The current situation of France is not good for fans. Their security measures are unpredictable.  According to WADA authorities, under the circumstances of the case, they were not compelled by international doping regulations to suspend the Chinese athletes or notify other competitors about the tests and investigations. Even with such justifications, worldwide indignation over the case is intensifying. James Guy, a British swimmer who won two gold medals in Tokyo and is scheduled to compete again in Paris, criticized the Chinese competitors who tested positive in a social media message.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the chairman of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee stated that the timing of these most recent allegations is terrible for athletes. “The recent allegations of doping cast a shadow of uncertainty as we head into the [Paris] Olympic and Paralympic cycle, challenging the very foundation of what fair competition stands for,” Sarah Hirshland, CEO of USOPC, stated.



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