INCHEON, South Korea (AFP) – Asian Games chiefs on Friday expelled China’s gold medal-winning women’s hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu in the biggest doping case of the giant event.
The Olympic Council of Asia said 28-year-old Zhang, who won a bronze medal at the 2007 world championships and 2008 Olympics, had tested positive for the anabolic agent zeranol.
“The competitor has been disqualified from the competition as well as these Games,” said an OCA statement, which added that the gold medal had been withdrawn.
Zhang is the sixth athlete to be kicked out of the Games in Incheon, South Korea for doping and the second gold medal-winner after Malaysia’s wushu champion Tai Cheau Xuen.
Zhang hurled an Asian Games record 77.33 metres to win her third straight Asiad gold on Sunday.
Despite her disqualification, China will keep the gold as team-mate Wang Zheng came second ahead of India’s Bala Manju and Masumi Aya of Japan.
Zenarol, which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), is widely used to fatten livestock. Athletes are known to take it illegally for its muscle-building properties.
The Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) said it accepted the expulsion of Zhang, but stressed that deliberate doping had not been proved.