Swimming Canada responds after WADA confirms it cleared Chinese swimmers who tested positive before Tokyo 2020

Swimming Canada has issued a statement calling for more transparency following Saturday’s revelation that 23 Chinese swimmers were cleared to compete at the Tokyo Olympics despite testing positive for a banned heart medication.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) cleared the swimmers because it says it agreed with Chinese authorities and ruled their samples had been contaminated.

The swimmers tested positive for the heart medication trimetazidine in the months leading up to the start of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 but WADA says Chinese authorities told the agency the positives were the result of contamination.

“Ultimately, we concluded that there was no concrete basis to challenge the asserted contamination,” WADA’s senior director of science and medicine Olivier Rabin said in a news release.

In a release, Swimming Canada said it is “committed to clean sport and the strict enforcement of anti-doping rules to maintain a level playing field.

“Rules must be applied equitably across high performance sport, and exceptions must be communicated transparently. Doping can deprive clean athletes of hard-earned moments they deserve, such as standing on the podium and the life-changing opportunities that may follow.”

Reports about the doping positives came out Saturday in the Daily Telegraph in Sydney and The New York Times.

The 30-member Chinese swim team won six medals in Tokyo, including three gold. Many of the athletes still compete for China and are expected to swim at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Swimming Canada also noted it is seeking further information about the ruling from the Canadian Olympic Committee, World Aquatics, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and Sport Canada.

“It is of paramount importance that athletes who train and compete according to the principles of clean sport be respected,” the release said.

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