25 May 2016

Dirk Lange denies helping Chinese swimmers to dope

Swimming coach Dirk Lange is considering legal action after a Daily Telegraph article alleged that his company was involved with attempts to conceal doping by Chinese swimmers preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympics. The article alleged that China’s swimming team turned to Lange to run a training programme in Belek, Turkey in order to avoid being tested for prohibited substances. It also alleged that Zhou Ming, who was banned for life in 1998, was in Belek coaching Chinese swimmers.

In a letter to the Australian newspaper, Lange argues that the ‘discrete’ Turkish location mentioned in the article is the Gloria Sports Arena (pictured) in Antalya. He also argues that ‘on May 19 2016, WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] representatives were here to take samples from the Chinese swim team’. He also points out that the Chinese swimming federation have said that Ming has never been in Belek; that swimmers coached by Ming have never been in Belek; and the reason for relocating the camp from Austria to Turkey was due to visa restrictions.

Interestingly, the Chinese swimming federation statement mentioned by Lange did not deny that Ming was coaching athletes. It is understood that he has recently returned to training athletes, after his lifetime ban was reduced to eight years. It has recently been reported that two swimmers coached by Ming have tested positive for doping.

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