Ohio State’s Liz Li Training In China, To Return In January

Big Ten champ and sprint star Liz Li is currently in China fulfilling national team training obligations, but will return to Ohio State in January for the postseason.

Li will be a senior on the Buckeye roster, contesting her final year in the NCAA. She’s won dual individual Big Ten titles in each of her last two seasons, taking the 50 free and 100 free in 2017 and the 50 free and 100 fly in 2016. She went on to finish 3rd at NCAAs in the 50 free last year along with 12th in the 100 fly.

Li has been absent at Ohio State’s first two official meets, wins over Kenyon and Akron/Denison in a triangular. But the school announced that Li would return for the second semester.

An international contributor for China, Li (who competes as Zhesi Li) has won relay gold at the World Championships in 2009 (long course) and 2010 (short course) and silver in 2011. Ohio State’s press release last week reports that Li is “spending time back home fulfilling training obligations with her national team.” Li has already graduated from Ohio State, but will return and attend grad school beginning in January.

That should put her back in the mix for both Big Tens and NCAAs, where she’s expected to be Ohio State’s top scorer and biggest relay weapon.

In This Story


  1. NONA says:

    …..something something turtle soup

  2. korn says:

    this is just asking for some people to think the worst!

  3. honestly says:


  4. Taa says:

    I guess its legal but it doesnt feel right.

  5. Not A Fan says:

    Complete nonsense. International ‘students’ should only be eligible if they are enrolled in a Fall term prior to the postseason. They have an unfair advantage of training like ‘pros’, free from NCAA rules and without the demands of attending school, traveling to meets and/or working a job to help pay for college. Ohio, Florida and a North Carolina school have swimmers doing this.

  6. Aquajosh says:

    The same Li Zhesi who was banned for two years at 17 for testing positive for the same substance Lance Armstrong got caught using, has been allowed to go back to China to train and come back to Ohio State just in time for the postseason, even though she’s already graduated. That’s not fishy at all.

  7. ru serious says:


  8. PED says:

    In June 2012, the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency announced Li tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug erythropoietin (EPO). She was dropped from the Olympic team.


    I suppose everyone deserves a second chance, but in her case, I think she should be banned for life. She was a teenage sensation and has parents who are sports stars in China and put a lot of pressure on her to over-achieve in a young age (12!). It’s hard to keep it up when you perform well internationally at 12. I was traveling in China in Jan 2013 when the ban was issued. It’s reported she had tried to deny it by saying taking EPO by mistake to treat some bogus health conditions. It was so ridiculous that the Chinese Anti-doping agency didn’t believe it.

Leave a Reply

Name will be published. Email address will not. By commenting you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!