Chinese swimmer Liu Zixuan had an adverse analytical finding of an a sample at the Chinese National Games in early September, the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) announced on Friday.
At the 2017 World Championships, Zixuan swam the 2nd leg of China’s silver-medal winning women’s 800 free relay, where she split 1:56.34 – the 3rd-best of 4 swims for the squad.
At 17-years old, Zixuan is actually a relative-veteran on that Chinese relay, which has two swimmers born in the year 2002. This test result is unlikely to impact China’s result at the World Championships, as doping punishments don’t usually impact swims that occur prior to the swim.
Liu’s positive test came on September 4th, when she tested positive for a diuretic hydrochlorothiazide. CHINADA has provisionally suspended Liu as of the date of notice of the A Sample, and her results from the meet have been nullified. The National Games Organizing Committee also cancelled a sports ethics award given to her team.
While diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide don’t themselves provide any performance enhancement, they can be used to mask the presence of other substances in doping tests.
Zixuan finished 2nd individually in the women’s 200 free at the meet in 1:57.01. She was also a member of the winning 400 free relay, 6th in the 400 free (4:11.38), and 13th in the 100 free (56.01).
Three athletes had positive tests at the multi-sport National Games, including wrestler Duan Ning and Yang Xinli. All three requested a test of the “B” samples to verify the result. The National Games are a premier event domestically, with high visibility and rewards for successful athletes.