The Asian Games hammer throw bronze won by India’s Manju Bala has been upgraded to silver after the Chinese gold medallist Zhang Weinxiu failed a doping test. Manju threw the chain and ball to 60.47m, considerably shorter than Zhang, who set a new Games mark of 77.33m, and silver winner Wang Zheng (74.16m), both from China, on September 28. Rajasthan’s 25-year-old Manju had come here with a season’s best of 62.74m that she threw in the inter-state meet at Lucknow in June.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced that Zhang, an Olympic medallist in Beijing in 2008, had tested positive for Zeranol, a banned anabolic agent. She became the sixth competitor, and the second gold medallist, to fail a drugs test in Incheon, leaving an ugly stain on Asia’s biggest multi-sports event, which ends in Incheon on Saturday. The announcement came one day after Malaysia’s martial arts champion Tai Cheau Xuen lost an appeal to be reinstated after testing positive for a banned stimulant.
“Her urine specimen collected on 26 September 2014 (under pre-competition testing) was found to contain Zeranol and its metabolite (ß-Zeranol), a prohibited substance in the WADA Prohibited List 2014,” the OCA said.
Zhang’s gold medal would be withdrawn and her accreditation cancelled, and the test results would be forwarded to the international and national sporting authorities, as well as the world anti-doping agency, the OCA added.
Earlier, Malaysian Tai was expelled and stripped of the gold medal she won in martial arts after testing positive for sibutramine, a banned stimulant often found in weight-loss pills.
The 22-year-old wushu competitor lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport but it was rejected.
Cambodian soft tennis player Yi Sophany was also thrown out after testing positive for sibutramine while Tajikistan football player Khurshed Beknazarov was ejected after his doping test showed the presence of the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.
Iraqi weightlifter Mohammed Jasim Abboo Al Aifuri and Syrian karate competitor Nour Aldin Al-Kurdi both tested positive for steroids. They too were kicked out of the Games.
On Saturday, Tan Sri Dr. M. Jegathesan, chairman of the Olympic Council of Asia’s anti-doping commission, said 1,600 athletes would be tested in Incheon.
More than 1,920 samples will be collected over the Games period, which runs from the opening of the athletes village on September 12 to the October 4 closing ceremony. News of the latest positive test overshadowed the penultimate day’s competition where China won another seven gold medals to take their total to 149, with just seven more to be decided on Saturday.
(With PTI Inputs)