Doping-N.Korean medallist fails dope test-IOC
(Updates with Vietnam Olympic team chief quotes 9-11)
By Karolos Grohmann
BEIJING, Aug 15 (Reuters) - North Korean shooting double medallist Kim Jong-su has tested positive for a banned substance, been excluded from the Beijing Olympic Games and stripped of his medals, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.
Kim won silver in the men’s 50m pistol and a bronze in the men’s 10m air pistol shooting.
Kim tested positive for beta-blocker propranolol, IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. Beta-blockers are misused to decrease the heart rate and stop possible trembling.
IOC Medical Commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist said Kim’s positive test showed it was an intentional act due to the substance’s ability to provide to the user precision characteristics necessary for sports like archery and shooting.
“I could not interpret that other than a deliberate intake,” Ljungqvist told reporters.
A female Vietnamese artistic gymnast, who finished out of the medals, also tested positive for a banned substance and has been excluded from the Games, the IOC said.
Thi Ngan Thuong Do tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic which can be used as a masking agent for other drugs.
State-run Sports and Culture newspaper quoted Hoang Vinh Giang, head of Vietnam’s Olympic team, as saying the 19-year-old athlete used a diuretic at her last training because she wanted to be slimmer, without checking with doctors of the team.
“It is regretful for Ngan Thuong because she is an athlete trained in China since her childhood and she has seized many achievements for Vietnam’s gymnastics,” the newspaper quoted Giang as saying.
“We do not know why Thuong has such a thought to have a slimmer body so she made that mistake,” he said.
Ljungqvist said the gymnast could be a victim of bad information as the drug was also used by women for pre-menstrual tension.
“My interpretation is that it is a problem resulting from poor information of the athlete, not enough knowledge what to take,” Ljungqvist said.
Davies said both athletes would now be referred to their federations for any possible further sanctions.