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China Says It Will Introduce Doping Controls for Junior National Sports -- July 14, 2005

HEFEI, Anhui Province, July 13. CHINA announced today that beginning next year, it plans on introducing doping controls at all junior national sports events. The measure is being taken to curb the increasing use of banned substances among youngsters, according to the Chinese online news service, Xinhuanet.

The announcement was made by Wang Baoliang, a top official at the State Sports Administration of China, at a national anti-doping conference here on Wednesday.

"More and more school students begin to use drugs in order to earn high marks in examinations such as the college entrance exam," said Wang.

"It is a very dangerous tendency and we must take the issue seriously," he added.

Xinhuanet reported: "According to a survey conducted by the Beijing University of Sports Culture on about 4,500 middle school and college students in 14 Chinese cities, the percentage of positive cases (of illegal drug usage) is higher than that among professional athletes."

Xinhua quoted Wang as saying that the State Sports Administration would combine education and punishment together in preventing the youth from drug cheats.

"Whoever uses banned drugs will receive due punishment," said Wang, "but we will put more focus on letting young students know the harm of taking drugs," he added.