`Guangzhou Asiad to have largest-ever number of dope tests`

Beijing: The 16th Asian Games in the city of
Guangzhou this month will have the "largest-ever number" of
dope tests in the event`s history, a top anti-doping official
here has claimed.

"We will have about 1,500 urine samples and 200 blood
samples during the Asian Games," said Zhao Jian, deputy
director general of the China Anti-doping Agency (CHINADA),
who is in charge of doping control for the Asiad.

"The number is a record for the Asian Games and we will
start work on November 6," he was quoted as saying by the
official media here.

The Games will take place from Nov 12 to 27 in Guangzhou.
Chinese official say the event will attract about 11,700
athletes from 45 countries who will compete for 476 gold

During the Doha Asian Games four years ago, about 1,200
samples were tested and blood testing was introduced for the
first time.

All the urine samples for the Asian Games will be sent to
CHINADA`s laboratory in Beijing, which carried out the doping
tests for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The samples will be flown to Beijing each day. Like
the Beijing Games, negative results will be reported within 24
hours of its arrival at the lab while positive results will be
reported within 48 hours.

"During the Guangzhou Asian Games, there will be about
100 staff working for the doping control and about 30 staff in
the lab," Zhao said.

"The doping control and tests will be conducted along
Olympic standards as we upgraded two thirds of our facilities
before the Beijing Games," he said.

"Three foreign experts will also work in the laboratory
and the management system for all the samples and results will
be in accordance with the rules. Athletes from all the
countries and regions can be at ease that the process
will be conducted fairly," he said.

Chinese officials say utmost importance will be accorded
to a clean doping record. To ensure the Chinese athletes have
clean home Games, all members of the team will receive strict
anti-doping training, examinations and drug tests before
entering the Asian Games Village.

"For the Guangzhou Asian Games, China will send its
largest-ever delegation and one of the priorities for the
squad is to be clean at the Games," Zhao said.

"Starting in September, experts from CHINADA went to give
lectures and supervise the examinations of athletes at all the
training bases across the country. Athletes could only qualify
for the Asian Games if they passed the paper examination and
the drug tests," Zhao said.

The access system requires all athletes training for the
Asian Games to attend anti-doping lectures and pass a written

An access system manual was also given to China team
members. They had to write down what they learned from the
lectures and keep records of doping tests and medicine taken
in a personal manual.

They also had to sign a letter of commitment in the
manual, along with their coaches and team leaders.

"This is the first time we have applied such a
well-planned access system before such a big event. No one can
escape such tests," he said.

Besides education and exams, all the athletes will be
tested for drugs without prior notification.

"We have conducted drug tests here for all the athletes
that will compete in Guangzhou. For those who are competing
abroad right now, they will receive their tests as soon as
they come back," he said.

"All the athletes have to be proved clean before moving
into the Asian Games Village. Athletes and coaches who have
dirty records in doping tests will have no chance to represent
China in Guangzhou," he said.

Up to now, Zhao`s agency has conducted more than 10,000
doping tests on Chinese athletes this year, but some top
athletes have still tested positive on the international

In May, Chinese judoka Tong Wen, the champion in the
women`s over 78kg class at the Beijing Olympics, was suspended
for two years for a positive test for clenbuterol, which can
boost muscles like an anabolic steroid.

Then, Li Fuyu, the nation`s most prominent professional
road cyclist and a Radioshack teammate of US legend Lance
Armstrong, was confirmed as having failed a test for the same
substance in August.

Both of them claimed to be innocent, complaining about
tainted pork they ate. Zhao said dubious food should not be an
excuse for testing positive and all athletes should be very
disciplined about what they ingest.

"Professional athletes should pay extreme attention to
their food and drinks it is their responsibility," said Zhao.

"I don`t think they can blame tainted food. If the food
is a problem, why did others who ate it not fail? It`s very
easy for the athletes to lose themselves in the face of the
wealth and glory they gain by winning. It`s difficult for
athletes to find the balance between competing fairly and
chasing the rewards. We still have a long way to go in the
education of athletes. I hope the efforts we make for the
Asian Games will benefit them in the future."