Winter Olympics: China imposes 2-year ban on speed skater Shi Xiaoxuan for failed drug test

Chinese speed skater Shi Xiaoxuan has been banned from the national team for two years after testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol on Dec 14.
Chinese speed skater Shi Xiaoxuan has been banned from the national team for two years after testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol on Dec 14. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China has banned speed skater Shi Xiaoxuan from the national team for two years after failing a drug test, removing her from their squad for next month's Winter Olympics, the China Skating Association said in a statement.

Shi tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol on Dec 14, the governing body said in a release posted by China's General Administration of Sports.

Clenbuterol is a performance-enhancing substance sometimes found in weight-loss pills and is on the World Anti- Doping Agency banned list.

The penalty is a "wake-up call" for Chinese athletes preparing for the Pyeongchang Games, which will take place in South Korea from Feb 9-25, the association said.

"There are loopholes in our education campaign against doping. We will take more measures and responsibility to prevent this from happening again," the organisation added.

The positive test is a blow for China, which will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Shi, 21, won a gold medal in the 500m sprint at the Junior Speedskating World Cup in 2016.