Doping-WADA to investigate claims of systematic doping in China

Oct 24 (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will investigate allegations by a retired physician that systematic doping took place in Chinese sport during the 1980s and 1990s, the international anti-doping agency said in a statement.

In a programme on German channel ARD at the weekend, Xue Yinxian, who worked with several Chinese national teams, called for all medals awarded to the nation's athletes during that period to be withdrawn.

The 79-year-old, who made similar allegations in 2012, said "medals were showered in doping" and claimed around 10,000 Chinese athletes had used banned substances.

Xue, who is claiming asylum in Germany, alleged that she was sacked after refusing to administer banned substances ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

"The Agency will ensure that, if action is warranted and feasible under the World Anti-Doping Code, the necessary and appropriate steps will be taken," WADA said.

"As a first step, the Agency has asked its independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) team to initiate an investigative process in order to collect and analyze available information in coordination with external partners."

Chinese athletes regularly failed dope tests after the country returned to the Olympic fold in the early 1980s but there was concerted effort by the government to crack down on the use of banned substances ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Russia's athletics federation, Paralympic committee and anti-doping agency (RUSADA) remain suspended after reports commissioned by WADA alleged state-sponsored doping. (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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