Worlds Silver Medalist Liu Zixuan Fails Doping Test at National Games

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.

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35 Comments on "Worlds Silver Medalist Liu Zixuan Fails Doping Test at National Games"

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Fred Hoiberg

Chinese women doping? You don’t say!

Never heard of a Chinese swimmer doping before




Sun Yang, Ouyang Kunpeng and Ning Zetao approve!

Sad that she’s only 17 and has apparently taken drugs for sports performance.

You wonder if she was coerced by a coach or some authority figure to do that.

yawn. Called it. Don’t worry, Katinka isn’t ;).

You call out any Americans? Or is American doping an impossible thought

Tom from Chicago

Jessica Hardy was an American dopey doper. Hardy stole dozens of National Team positions, National Championship medals, National Championship finals positions, etc from honest hard-working swimmers.

Performance Enhancing Drugs is NOT a victimless crime.

And an Olympic spot

Sir Swimsalot

We have yet to have any recent powerhouses test positive. And doping isn’t encouraged at all, its really looked down upon.

We, the swimming public, look down on doping, just as I’m sure the Russian public looks down on doping. RUSADA and the Russian Swimming Federation also publically discourage and look down on doping, just as USADA and USA Swimming do. The Russians have gotten caught, yes, but I think it’s naive to think that every person at the top of the USOC or USA Swimming really cares more about the integrity of the sport than they do about looking like they’re good at their jobs. It’s like how the NFL tried to maintain plausible deniability about concussions for as long as possible, or how the MLB dragged its feet regarding cracking down on anabolic steroids: if your athletes are putting… Read more »

I can’t speak for all of Russia, but I have had several Eastern European and Russian housemates over the years. I have noticed a distinct philosophy of “if you can cheat and not get caught then it’s not cheating.” Aka everyone can do this, and everyone is on the same playing field, so you might as well do what it takes to win.

I don’t want to overgeneralize this to everyone in Eastern Europe, and my housemates were definitely good people in general, but I could see how these different cultural views towards cheating could influence who different countries view the acceptability of doping differently.

Steve Nolan


Steve Nolan

Why would anyone presume the most successful and dominant swimming nation in the world has dopers? Can’t fathom why.

They only dope in athletics…. Hmmm

Meant to add *UCS Trojans also to that….

Phelps neither

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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