In April, after failed out-of-competition drug tests, Chinese female paddlers Shengfang Tian and Huan Men receive two-year bans from the International Canoe Federation (ICF).
Shengfang Tian and Huan Men both competed at the ICF’s opening canoe sprint world cup event in Szeged, Hungary, in May this year. Both athletes finished outside of the medals; Tian was eighth in the K1 5000, and was part of the Chinese women’s K4 500 team which finished second in the B final, while Men was ninth in the C2 500 final alongside teammate Qi Li.
The athletes returned positive tests to the diuretic Triamterene and will be suspended from all levels of competition for two years. The tests were carried out by the Chinese anti-doping agency CHINADA on April 24, meaning their results in Szeged will not stand.
In addition, Tian’s coach and Men’s coach have also been banned for one year and have been fined 10,000 RMB because of joint liability.
The athletes will not be allowed to return to competition before May 22, 2020, while the coaches have been suspended until May 21, 2019.
ICF Secretary General Simon Toulson said news of positive drug tests was always disappointing, but athletes need to get the message.
“Athletes cheating in our sport are not welcome and we will do our utmost to protect those clean and innocent to compete on a fair playing field,” Toulson said.
“Testing procedures are much more rigorous, and more athletes are being targeted. There really is nowhere to hide.
“The ICF has made it a priority to kick cheats out of our sport. We owe it to the great majority of our athletes who are clean and who work so hard, and legally, to race faster.”
A list of canoe athletes currently banned from competing can be found here.