REPORT: A Chinese swimmer has tested positive to doping

Xinyi Chen of China during the 100m butterfly heats in Rio. Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Brazilian newspaper Estadao is reporting that Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi failed a doping test conducted before she headed to the Rio Olympics.

Estadao says Chen, who finished fourth in the 100m butterfly, went to Rio not knowing she’d returned a positive test and only found out two days ago about the result, taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have the result overturned.

She is due to swim in the 50m freestyle heats this morning.

Confirmation of the claim is still being sought from FINA officials.

The allegation of a positive result comes amid a war of words sparked by Australian gold medalist Mack Horton after he beat the Chinese champion Sun Yang in the 400m freestyle, having called his rival a “drug cheat”.

Horton said after the race that it was “definitely a win for the good guys” against “athletes that have tested positive”.

Yang secretly served a three-month doping ban in 2014 after testing positive to a banned substance he was using to treat a heart condition.

Horton’s social media accounts were subsequently bombarded by hundreds of thousands of angry Chinese fans and he was forced to close the comments as Chinese officials demanded an apology and other athletes came out in support of his comments against drug cheats.

The Russian athletics team was banned from the games for systematic doping.

Estadao also reports that another female athlete, Bulgarian runner Silvia Danekova, was detected with increased EPO in her blood following a test in Rio on July 26.

The runner was suspended and is awaiting the results of a second analysis of the samples.

The Estadao story (in Portuguese) is here.

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