Olympics: Chinese swimmer suspended, two athletes kicked out of Rio

China's Chen Xinyi celebrates a win in a 2014 file photo.
China's Chen Xinyi celebrates a win in a 2014 file photo.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - The world sports tribunal on Friday (Aug 12) suspended Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi over a failed dope test and definitively kicked a Polish weightlifter and Bulgarian runner out of the Rio Olympics.

European champion weightlifter Tomasz Zielinksi and Bulgarian 3,000m steeplechase runner Silvia Danekova were the first definitive exclusions ordered by a special anti-doping division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Rio, it said in a statement.

But with doping casting a vast shadow over the Games, other cases are already due to be heard by the CAS which has set up an emergency panel in Rio.

Chen, 18, a rising star in the Chinese swimming team, tested positive for diuretic hydrochlorothiazide after coming fourth in the women's 100m butterfly on Sunday. She came just 0.09 sec behind bronze medallist Dana Vollmer of the United States.

CAS said "the athlete accepted a provisional suspension on a voluntary basis" and promised a final decision on her case before the end of the Games on Aug 21.

Chen has asked for a second test on her sample and a hearing on the case, the Chinese Swimming Association said earlier. But no details have been given on what basis the swimmer could be challenging the failed test.

Diuretics can help to mask other stronger banned performance enhancing substances.

Russia is at the centre of a major doping controversy. But China has also come under close scrutiny after a series of recent doping cases. The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended the licence of the Beijing anti-doping laboratory.

The Chinese swimming body said it has "taken this matter seriously and demanded full cooperation from Chen in the investigation."

It added: "The CSA resolutely opposes use of banned substances."

Zielinksi, the European 94kg champion whose brother Adrian also faces doping action, tested positive in Rio for the anabolic steroid norandrosterone, said CAS.

Norandrosterone is one of the most popular steroids detected in failed tests by weightlifters.

The Polish lifter has denied any offence. But the CAS said: "The athlete is declared ineligible to compete in and is excluded from the Olympic Games."

Zielinski's brother Adrian, the London 2012 champion, has been banned from Rio after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone just three days after Tomasz, Poland's Anti-doping committee said Friday.

CAS has not yet issued a definitive ruling on his case.

Adrian Zielinski told Polish media the brothers were "set up", but did not elaborate on the comment.

An order to get out of the Rio athletes village was also ordered against Bulgarian steeplechase runner Danekova, 33, who tested positive for EPO blood doping.

The Bulgarian came 14th at the world championships in Moscow in 2013 but was not among medal contenders in Rio.

"I am not guilty, I have done nothing wrong. Four tests were done, three of them were negative. We found out that my fourth test was positive," Danekova told Bulgarian television.

"The shock for me is unbelievable," she added. "The only explanation can be food additives that I have been taking."

The CAS is taking charge of anti-doping cases for the International Olympic Committee for the first time. The decisions of its Anti-Doping Tribunal in Rio can be appealed to the full CAS tribunal in Lausanne.