China hammer thrower's gold medal reinstated

AFP
China's Zhang Wenxiu competes in the final of the women's hammer throw athletics event during the 17th Asian Games at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium in Incheon on September 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (AFP Photo/Martin Bureau)

Athletics - China hammer thrower's gold medal reinstated

China's Zhang Wenxiu competes in the final of the women's hammer throw athletics event during the 17th Asian Games at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium in Incheon on September 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (AFP Photo/Martin Bureau)

Hong Kong (AFP) - Chinese women's hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu had her 2014 Asian Games gold medal reinstated Wednesday after successfully overturning a positive drugs test, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced.

China's track and field team at the Incheon Games was rocked by news of the positive dope test five days after Zhang threw 77.33 metres to claim gold on September 28.

A sample provided by Zhang before the competition had shown the presence of zeranol, a banned substance. She was disqualified and stripped of her gold medal.

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Zhang appealed and the OCA said in a statement Wednesday that further independent testing last month had shown that "the presence of zeranol was, as Zhang asserted in her appeal, caused by eating contaminated food".

Zeranol is found naturally in a fungus associated with cereal crops -- mycotoxin zearalenone -- and can even permeate into the body merely through contact with the skin.

"Ms. Zhang did not ingest the Prohibited Substance detected in her sample," the statement continued.

"Based on this new information and supported by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Authority), the Olympic Council of Asia recognises that Ms. Zhang did not return an Adverse Analytical Finding for the presence of zeranol, nor therefore commit an Anti-Doping Rule Violation during the 2014 Asian Games.

"Accordingly, the Olympic Council of Asia will return the Gold Medal to Ms Zhang."

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