China’s Li Zhesi Tests Positive for EPO

BEIJING, China, June 9. WORD out from Chinese media outlets, including Xinhua and Sina, reports that Chinese sprinter Li Zhesi has tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO), announced the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency today.

“The drug was found both in the A and B samples,” the announcement, as reported by Xinhua, stated. The positive took place on March 31 as an out-of-competition test.

No punishment has been decided for Li, who was a winning member of the 400 medley relay at the 2009 World Championships. Li is only 16.

The Chinese Anti-Doping Agency made the announcement as part releasing four total positive tests, including women's rowers and track and field athletes.

“Chinese Swimming is at a loss, Chinese head swimming coach Zhang Yadong told Sina. “I hope that it was an accident.”

Zhang spoke with Sina at length in an article discussing the impact of the news.

Zhang focused on how much of a hit losing Li for relay duty could have if she winds up missing out on the 2012 London Olympics, which is likely.

Full text of Xinhua article.

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