Qin Haiyang, Wang Shun, Yang Junxuan Tested Positive for Clenbuterol Prior to 2021 Positives

Haiyang Qin of China competes in the 200m Breaststroke Men Final with a New World Record during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 28th, 2023.
Qin Haiyang -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Qin Haiyang, Wang Shun, Yang Junxuan Tested Positive for Clenbuterol Prior to 2021 Positives

In April, news emerged that 23 Chinese swimmers had tested positive for banned substance trimetazidine months prior to the Tokyo Olympics, but their test results were never publicly disclosed and the athletes were not sanctioned because China’s anti-doping authority (CHINADA) attributed the findings to contamination.

Now, new reporting from the New York Times reveals that three of those Chinese swimmers had tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance that promotes muscle growth, years prior. Those findings were not disclosed and the swimmers never sanctioned, with the results attributed to food contamination. The three swimmers, per the New York Times, were Qin HaiyangWang Shun and Yang Junxuan. Qin is now the world-record holder in the 200 breaststroke while Wang and Yang both won Olympic gold medals in Tokyo.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) responded to the reporting with a scathing statement Friday in which it attributed the results to clenbuterol’s use “as a growth promoter for farm animals and, under specific circumstances, can result in a positive sample from an athlete who consumes meat from animals treated in that way.” WADA noted that this problem “exists in China, Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries. It is a pervasive issue that has resulted in hundreds of positive tests for trace amounts of clenbuterol in the samples of innocent athletes.”

The statement included information that the clenbuterol levels of Qin, Wang and Yang were “so low that they were between six and 50 times lower than the minimum reporting level of 5ng/mL that is currently in place, which was introduced into anti-doping rules in 2019 to deal with the extensive issue of clenbuterol contamination in meat.” WADA added that World Aquatics (previously FINA) reviewed the findings and “did not contest the contamination scenario.”

However, the New York Times criticized WADA for failing to give an “explanation for why the swimmers were not publicly identified for having any amount in their systems.” In 2016 and 2017, these levels of clenbuterol would normally have resulted in sanctions.

WADA claimed that the organization was compelled to put out a statement following the New York Times request for comment because of the earlier coverage of the positive TMZ tests.

“Given the sensationalist and inaccurate way that the New York Times has covered the trimetazidine contamination cases of 23 Chinese swimmers from 2021, as well as the highly charged, politically motivated criticism of WADA and the global anti-doping system that followed, mainly from within the United States, WADA feels it is important to be able to describe the context and extent of clenbuterol contamination around the world so that people are not further misled.”

Read the full report from the New York Times here. Read WADA’s statement in response here.

Read more:

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

This is the last straw. WADA needs to be dissolved and replaced immediately. China should be banned from the Paris Olympics.

1 month ago
Reply to  RCP

Totally and Emphatically Agree!

1 month ago

In my view WADA is corrupted by the ‘sponsorship ‘ of Chinese money. The double standards they implement are atrocious. A “Western” athlete tests positive and is duly outed, faces the abbropation from publicity and banned for years!
Chinese swimmers?
Instead a cover up and collusion!
No media, certainly no bans and then they go on to win, what must be dubious, Golds and break World Records.


1 month ago
Reply to  Kanga1

Oh please. You’re mad your western propaganda isn’t working in the rest of the world? Have you even ever talked to someone Chinese? Why does no one ask for their perspective? It’s disgusting

1 month ago
Reply to  Swimmer

There’s many Chinese in Australia mate, ever since the Gold Rush! Infact 5% of the current population is Asian .
But Stop trying to cloud the issue with inanities. As it’s blatantly obvious the double standards being applied here. Its not as if this isn’t the first time Dictatorships such as China have abused drugs in sport for their own propaganda purposes!

Last edited 1 month ago by Kanga1
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x