At the time we reported China’s roster for the 2016 Olympic Games, we noted how the absence of 18-year-old Qiu Yuhan was indeed mysterious. The 2014 Youth Olympic double gold medalist and 2012 Olympian earned silver in the women’s 200m freestyle, clocking a swift time of 1:55.84 at Chinese Nationals in April of 2016. At the very least she was expected to be on her nation’s 4x200m freestyle relay line-up.
Halfway through 2017, we now know what caused Qiu’s absence from Rio, as the freestyle specialist is at the center of another convoluted doping case arising from the nation of China. As revealed just this week by China’s Anti-Doping Agency, Chinada, Qiu had tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide back in May of 2016 during an out of competition test. She was then handed out a 9-month ban, which removed her from any possible role in the Rio Olympics. (South China Morning Post)
However, the fact that the public is just finding out about Qiu’s positive test now months after the fact is very reminiscent of a similar scenario involving another Chinese swimmer, multiple Olympic medalist Sun Yang. Back in 2014 Sun had tested positive for Trimetazidine was subsequently suspended for 3 months, while the entire situation wasn’t announced by Chinada until November 2014. With that timeline, Sun had already competed in that year’s Asian Games, which took place in September 2014.
During the 2016 Olympic Games, we reported how China’s top 100 butterflier, Chen Xinyi, had failed a doping control test before heading to Rio de Janeiro to compete. The swimmer also reportedly tested positive for the same substance hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic which is sometimes used as a masking agent.