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Chinese gold medalist gets two-year ban; pork chops to blame?

Chris Chase
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The women's heavyweight judo champion of China has been banned for two years after testing positive for the dangerous steroid clenbuterol. Her coach says it's all a misunderstanding stemming from Tong Wen's love of pork chops.

The 2008 +78 kg Olympic gold medalist tested positive for the drug during the 2009 World Judo Championships. Her coach says the result wasn't because of anything nefarious but due to eating steroid-injected Chinese pork products.

"She trained in Europe for a while and was sick of European food so we gave her a lot of pork chops when she returned home to prepare for the 2009 world championships in Rotterdam," Coach Wu Weifeng told Beijing Youth Daily. China's food problems are well documented and have been blamed before in positive tests, most notably when a swimmer blamed eating at a barbecue for his increased clenbuterol levels.

The drug is often used as an additive to feed pigs in China.

Tong Wen was stripped of her 2009 world championship but still retains the gold medal she won in Beijing. The IOC can retroactively take away the gold but has yet to decide on the matter.

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