INCHEON, South Korea (AFP) – Asian Games organisers on Tuesday expelled Malaysia’s wushu gold medal-winner Tai Cheau Xuen after she became the third doping failure of the giant event.
Tai, 24, tested positive for a banned stiumulant after winning Malaysia’s first gold at the Games on September 20, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said. The Malaysian delegation vowed to appeal.
The champion in the Chinese martial art was found to have taken sibutramine, according to an OCA statement.
It is the second time the substance, widely used as a dietary supplement, has been detected at the Games, where 9,500 athletes are taking part.
OCA anti-doping chief, M Jegathesan, has indicated that not all failures for sibutramine are “hard core” cheats, but he has not yet commented on Tai’s case. And no matter the circumstances the OCA had no choice but to order her out.
“The competitor has been disqualified from the competition as well as these Games, and as such her accreditation cancelled and her medal withdrawn,” said the statement.
The official announcement of the failed test was delayed because Tai and the Malaysian Olympic Committee asked for the B-sample to be examined, officials said.
Malaysia’s chef-de-mission Danyal Balagopal said the team would appeal the decision, but did not say on what basis.
“Obviously when we say we will appeal we have strong reasons,” he told AFP.
A Tajik footballer, Khurshed Beknazarov, and a Cambodian soft tennis player have already been expelled for failing tests.
Nineteen-year-old Cambodia Yi Sophany was also found to have taken sibutramine, which is widely taken to control weight.
About 1,900 doping tests will be carried out on the Asian Games athletes, according to Jegathesan, the OCA medical committee chairman.