FBI Investigating Olympic Doping Scandal Involving 23 Chinese Swimmers Who Tested Positive For Banned Substance

There appears to be some controversy ahead of the 2024 Olympics, as the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation directed at Chinese swimmers, who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs but were still allowed to participate during the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Reportedly, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) came out in April, confirming that 23 Chinese swimmers had tested positive for trimetazidine before the 2020 Olympics. That is to say, after China claimed that it was a result of accidental contamination, WADA seemingly let it slide without issuing an appeal.

The agency concluded, "It was not in a position to disprove the possibility that contamination was the source of TMZ [trimetazidine], and it was compatible with the analytical data in the file."

A U.S. House of Representatives committee asked the Justice Dept. to take action, so the FBI launched an investigation into the case.

Even though this is an international state of affairs matter, they were able to do so as a result of a law that warrants criminal prosecution of people who contribute to helping athletes dope for worldwide competitions.

The committee put out a statement regarding the issue.

"This scandal raises serious legal, ethical, and competitive concerns and may constitute a broader state-sponsored strategy by the People's Republic of China to unfairly compete at the Olympic Games in ways Russia has previously done."

With those wondering what trimetazidine is, and how much it can boost performance, it's basically a "metabolic modulator" that is found in heart medication. To note, it aids in maintaining the energy metabolism of heart muscle cells, which helps eliminate the effects of lower oxygen supplies. So in short, this will help an athlete improve endurance, which is one of the most important factors for swimmers in a race.

When looking ahead to the 2024 Paris Olympics, 11 of the 23 Chinese swimmers, who previously tested positive, are set to compete. To point out, in 2020, Team China (30-member team) won six medals in total (including three gold medals, two silver, and one bronze). On the other hand, Team USA took home 30 medals (including 11 gold, 10 silver, and nine bronze).

Kathleen Ledecky (left); Wang Jianjiahe (right)

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