Chinese race walker fails drug test, suspended for four years
MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Chinese race walker Song Hongjuan was suspended for four years Friday after failing a drug test, the latest Chinese athlete sanctioned for doping before next month's Beijing Olympics.
The International Association of Athletics Federations said Song tested positive for the blood-boosting hormone EPO in a surprise, out-of-competiton test in Beijing on Feb. 24.
All her results from that date have been annulled, and she is banned until March 25, 2012.
Song finished 14th in the women's 20-kilometer event at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 15th in the same race at last year's world championships.
"The IAAF is committed to protecting the sport of athletics from the threat of doping," the IAAF said.
In the past two weeks, two Chinese athletes and their coaches received lifetime bans for doping -- swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng and freestyle wrestler Luo Meng.
Altogether, China has logged eight cases of drug violations since January, according to Titan Sports, China's most well-known sports newspaper.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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