|June 13 - China is making big efforts to ensure a clean Chinese team for next year's Olympic Games, including increasing the number of tests each year, said a Chinese anti-doping official on Wednesday.
Zhao Jian, office head of Anti-Doping Commission of the Chinese Olympic Committee, said they were well aware that an effective anti-doping program will count in assessing whether the Beijing
Olympic Games next year is successful or not.
"We want our athletes to play a fair and clean game. Our aim is to ensure that no one in the Chinese delegation uses performance-enhancing substances," he said.
Over 9,000 tests were carried out last year, about 70% of which were conducted out of competition. In 2006, the number was 8,700 with 66% of out-of-competition tests.
According to the estimation of the State General Administration of Sports, there are around 30,000 to 40,000 athletes registered with different national sports associations.
"According to China's Anti-Doping Code, we are only entitled to test athletes who compete in national or provincial games or are registered with national sports associations," said Zhao.
"Not all the 1.3 billion Chinese are obliged to receive doping tests," he added.
Zhao said the number of tests is increasing each year with the number may exceed 10,000 this year as the Olympics approaches and high level athletes are their main targets.
The anti-doping commission set up a database updated everyday to give detailed information of the athletes' whereabouts.
"We follow all athletes' whereabouts and a pool of 2,000 or athletes are especially closely watched," he said.
Zhao said the pool usually includes athletes with good results or from certain events such as weightlifting, swimming, track and field, wrestling, cycling and rowing where generally positive cases happen.
Every day there are 300 doping test officials taking urine and blood samples from athletes who train all over China and these samples will be tested in the China Doping Control Center, an accredited lab recognized by WADA.
"If the athletes fail to report and thus are absent from our random tests, they will fail the tests," said Zhao.
"We won't hesitate in cracking down on drug cheats among Chinese athletes," he added.
The Anti-Doping Commission, entrusted by Beijing Olympics organizers, will be responsible to implement the doping control plan for the Beijing Olympic Games where 4,500 dope tests are expected.
"What we want most is a clean Games next year, where athletes from all over the world feel that they are competing fair and square," he said.
A new doping control center of 5,000 square meters is under construction in order to serve the Olympic Games where about 200 tests to be conducted every day.
A hundred and fifty people, including 20 international doping control experts, will work in the center during the Games.