5 Vietnamese athletes fail 2nd doping test, bans imminent

By Nghia Thang   November 17, 2022 | 06:22 pm PT
5 Vietnamese athletes fail 2nd doping test, bans imminent
Athletes compete at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi during the 31st SEA Games on May 15, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
With their second test too showing positive for doping, five Vietnamese athletes could lose their medals from this year's SEA Games in Hanoi and face long bans.

In October Vietnamese sports authorities were told that five athletes had tested positive for doping.

The athletes, who have not been identified, then applied for the second test.

They will meet with the Southeast Asian Sports Council to explain why they tested positive for the banned substance.

They have denied using any stimulants, and claimed their positive tests could be linked to something they ate or their use of antibiotics.

A source who asked not want to be named told VnExpress that their chances of exoneration are only "about 0.001%."

The five athletes are four women who won gold medals in the SEA Games in May 2022 and a male who won bronze.

If the infringement is proven, they would not only lose their medals but will also face a long-term ban.

The games organizers performed random drug tests on around 1,000 competitors.

Vietnam has recorded 19 cases of doping since 2003. Most of the cases have stemmed from a lack of knowledge and minimal anti-doping skills because the drugs used are common and easy to detect, like diuretics or boosters.

The 31st SEA Games took place in Hanoi and neighboring provinces from May 12 to 23, 2022 with 40 sports, 526 events with over 10,000 athletes, officials and referees from 11 Southeast Asian countries. Vietnam participated with a contingent of 1,341 who won 205, 125 silver and 116 bronze medals to finish first in the overall ranking.

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