Special report: 2008 Olympic Games
BEIJING, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Former Chinese Olympian Song Hongjuan has been banned from competing for four years after failing an EPO test, officials said Saturday.
According to the Chinese Athletic Association's website, the 24-year-old race walker, who placed 14th in the women's 20 kilometers walk at the Athens Olympic Games four years ago, tested positive for erythropoietin at a competition here in February.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which also reported the case on Saturday, have agreed with the Chinese authorities to suspend Song until March 25, 2012.
Song did not participate in the selection process for the 2008 Olympics.
China is making great efforts to send a clean team to the August 8-24 Games with tough punishments, frequent tests and constant anti-doping education for its athletes, especially those heading towards the Games.
Earlier last month, life-time bans have been handed to China's top man backstroke swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng and wrestler Luo Meng after both tested positive for doping, while their coaches were also suspended for life.