BEIJING — China’s fallen female swimming star Wu Yanyan has denied taking drugs and plans to sue national swimming authorities for banning her after saying she tested positive for steroids, state media said on Monday.

The Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) imposed a four-year ban on Wu, the world record holder in the women’s 200-metres individual medley, after she tested positive for an anabolic steroid at the national championships in Jinan province in May.

‘She has denied using any illegal substances and said she planned to go to court to sue the CSA,’ the China Daily newspaper said.

In addition to suspending Wu, the CSA has fined her 8,000 yuan (US$967) and slapped a one-year ban and 4,000 yuan fine on her coach, Wu Jicai.

The China Daily quoted a CSA spokesman as defending the suspension of Wu — the minimum required under international rules for an anabolic steroid offence — as reasonable.

‘We treat everyone as equals,’ the spokesman was quoted as saying. ‘We don’t impose worse punishments upon famous swimmers — this applies to Wu as well.’

China established itself as a world swimming powerhouse in the early 1990s before a series of doping scandals thinned its ranks.

National team head coach Zhao Ke said last week he believed it would be difficult for his swimmers to earn any gold medals in the Sydney Olympics in September.

Reuters

Source: SOCOG