China’s Sun hopes to shine at Beijing Olympics
BEIJING: China’s former world championship bronze medallist Sun Yingjie, who is returning from a two-year doping ban, believes she may still be able to make August’s Beijing Olympics.
The 28-year-old, who tested positive for the banned steroid androsterone at China’s National Games in 2005, was 10th in the Xiamen International marathon on Saturday, her first outing since returning from suspension.
“It was a good training for me to prepare for Olympic qualification,” she told yesterday’s China Youth Daily.
“I’m not sure (I’ll be able to qualify) but I will do my best. Now I need to come back gradually. If I can return to my best, I think I can take part in the Olympics.
“I was really excited about taking part in this race because I had been away from a competitive atmosphere for such a long time,” she added.
The four-time winner of the Beijing marathon is unlikely to qualify for the longest Olympic event but could still make the grade for the 10,000 or 5,000m.
Despite China’s avowed determination to stamp out doping, the return of Yingjie is good news for a country which has few world-class track athletes and was unable to enter a single women in the 5,000 or 10,000m at last year’s world championships.
Yingjie won the last of her four consecutive Beijing marathon titles on Oct 16, 2005 and the next day finished second in the 10,000m at the National Games in Nanjing.
One of her fellow athletes subsequently admitted to spiking Yingjie’s drink to help her out.
Although a local court cleared her of doping, the Chinese Olympic Committee handed her a statutory two-year ban.
Her coach Wang Dexian was banned for life. – Reuters
~ by missjewelz on January 10, 2008.