Richard Pound, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), points out that every sport has had its share of cheating, and there’s little doubt every country has its share of doping in sports. China is no exception. Because the issue of doping — in U.S. baseball and the Tour de France as well as at the Olympic Games — has drawn much attention in recent years, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and China have undertaken unprecedented measures to ensure a doping-free Olympics.
How It All Started
China retook its seat on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1979 after a -twenty–one year absence because of the dispute over the “two Chinas” issue, and in the country’s first appearance, it won fifteen gold medals. This impressive return performance in Los Angeles in 1984 did not arouse much suspicion about doping, in part due to the absence of the USSR, which was boycotting the games. However, with the Seoul Olympics in 1988, Chinese athletes began to be implicated in a string of drug scandals, culminating at the 1994 Asian Games, where eleven Chinese athletes returned positive results from doping control. And at the World Swimming Championships in Australia in 1998, a Chinese swimmer was caught at the Sydney airport with a growth hormone in her luggage, and four swimmers tested positive at the event in Perth.