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Report: ‘More Than 10,000' Athletes Doped in 80s and 90s, Former Chinese Doctor Claims

A former doctor is the latest to blow the whistle on state-sponsored doping in China.

Xue Yinxian is a 79-year-old former Chinese doctor seeking asylum in Germany after revealing that "more than 10,000" Chinese athletes were taking performance enhancing drugs in the 1980s and 1990s as part of a systemic doping scandal by the country, he tells German broadcaster ARD.

The doctor claims that systemic doping had its roots with athletes as young as 11 years old and was used in major Olympic sports including swimming, diving, track and field, table tennis, soccer, volleyball, basketball and more. Xue worked closely with Chinese national teams in the 1970s. Xue said she was dismissed from her job with the national gymnastics team after refusing to assist an athlete with doping before the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In 2012, she fled the country after blowing the whistle on doping in 2012. 

The World Anti-Doping Agency issued a statement saying that it was looking the allegations.

“Medals were tainted by doping – gold, silver and bronze," he said, according to The Guardian. "There must have been more than 10,000 people involved. People believed only in doping, anyone who took doping substances was seen to be defending the country. All international medals [won by Chinese athletes in that time] should be taken back.”

"One trainer came to me and said, 'Doctor Xue, the boys' breasts keep getting bigger,'" Xue also said. "These boys were about 13 to 14 years old."

The IOC's statute of limitations on re-testing drug samples from the 80s and 90s has passed so it is unlikely those allegedly tainted medals will ever get to clean athletes.

No members of the Chinese Olympic Committee and China’s sports ministry commented to the ARD reporters.

This is not the first time that China has been linked to doping in the 80s and 90s. In February 2016, a letter was revealed in which several Chinese athletes said controversial track coach Ma Junren helped operate a state-sponsored doping system. Ma's athletes set national and world records on the track that were considered unbreakable for years due to the possible use of performance-enhancing drugs. Whenever Ma was asked about his athlete's success, he would credit it to altitude training and athletes taking turtle blood. The leaked letter was being investigated by the International Association of Athletics Federation as the World Anti-Doing Agency investigated Russia for its own systemic doping.