By Sportswriter Wu Junkuan
SHENYANG, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's track and field governing body organized an anti-doping exam for all its athletes here on Thursday, one day prior to the kick-off of the athletics competitions at the ongoing 12th National Games.
A total of 1,264 athletes, coaches as well as team staff registered for the country's premier sports meet took the open-book exam, aiming to further raise their anti-doping awareness as part of the doping control program of the Chinese Athletic Association (CAA).
The 40-minute-long exam featured three aspects: the harms to the doping offenders, anti-doping policy and self-protection knowledge.
"The athletes must know what are banned substances and what are the dangers of doping. The open-book exam aims to give the athletes as well as their coaches a chance to review all the doping control knowledge. It is our way to protect them," said Shen Chunde, the vice president of the CAA.
"In the previous doping cases, some dopers used banned substance in purpose. But in more cases, athletes were tested positive because of unknowingly or unintentionally ingestion. We want the athletes to raise awareness and shield up for themselves."
The CAA started to launch such preventive exam in the last National Games in 2009. And since 2011 anti-doping exam has become a convention carried out before all national-level competitions organized by the CAA.
"Not using banned substance is a basic principle for all the athletes," said the pinup sprinter Zhang Peimeng, who just renewed the national record of men's 100m to 10.00 seconds at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow last month.
"Through sprinting I want to compete with myself and become a better man. But banned substance can only make my pursuit meaningless," said the 26-year-old.
Doping has always been one of the biggest challenges for athletics in China especially during the National Games, as winning a title at the event can be as important as winning an Olympic medal to local sports officials.
The last two editions of the quadrennial tournament both witnessed doping cases in the track and field arena. And half of the eight athletes tested positive in the second quarter of this year, including one detected through the biological passport program, were from athletic teams.
Sun Yingjie, bronze medal winner in the women's 10,000m at the Paris world championships in 2003, was tested positive for a banned steroid during the 10th National Games in 2005 and was giving a two-year suspension. Her coach Wang Dexian suffered a life ban on second violation of anti-doping rules.
Wang Jing, the champion of women's 100m at the 2009 National Games, was tested positive for metabolites of epitestosterone and testosterone. She was stripped off the gold medal and given a life ban, together with her coach Chen Hua.