BEIJING (Reuters) – China has banned speedskater Xiaoxuan Shi from the national team for two years after failing a drug test, removing her from their squad for next month’s 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the China Skating Association said in a statement.
Shi tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol on Dec. 14, the governing body said in a release posted on China’s General Administration of Sports.
Clenbuterol is a performance-enhancing substance sometimes found in weight-loss pills and is on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list.
The penalty is a “wake-up call” for Chinese athletes preparing for the Winter Olympics, which will take place in South Korea from Feb. 9-25, the Association said.
“There are loopholes in our education campaign against doping. We will take more measures and responsibility to prevent this from happening again,” the organization added.
The positive test is a blow for China, which will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Shi, 21, won a gold medal for the 500-metre sprint at the Junior Speedskating World Cup in 2016.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason and Meng Meng; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)