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Vinh tests positive for banned substance

Update: February, 28/2019 - 15:53
SEA Games winner Trịnh Văn Vinh tested positive for exogenous testosterone, a forbidden substance. — Photo baomoi.com
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The International Weightlifting Federation has reported that the urine sample of Vietnamese weightlifter Trịnh Văn Vinh returned an adverse analytical finding for exogenous testosterone and at least one forbidden anabolic agent.

The defending world champion in the men’s 61kg category is "provisionally suspended in view of a potential anti-doping rule violation. In any case where it is determined that the athlete did not commit an anti-doping rule violation, the relevant decision will also be published", according to the IWF. The federation will not make any further comment on the case until it is closed.

Vinh was also the 29th SEA Games champion in 2017, a national champion and a silver medallist at the Asian Games in 2018.

"We were shocked by the news,” said Đỗ Đình Kháng, head of the national Weightlifting Section. “Vinh is one of the medal-favourite athletes who are given an ID number by the IWF. They must report their competitions regularly to the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) which carries out doping tests without notification.”

"Vinh’s doping test gave a negative result at the Asian Games last August,” he said. “After that he competed at the National Games. It seemed that he made mistakes in this time period.”

Kháng said athletes were warned about doping problems before, during and after competitions.

"I myself asked players to collect doctors’ and coaches’ advice before using drugs, food and supplements. I also raised their awareness of clean practices, especially after IWF stated it may eliminate the sport from the 2024 Olympics if doping can not be controlled," he said.

Vinh, 23, admitted wrongdoing.

"Doctors took my urine for testing on November 17,” Vinh was quoted as saying on thanhnien.vn. “Before that I took an injection for my back pain without approval from team doctors. I do not remember what the medicine was and did not know if it included forbidden agents. I was shocked to receive my positive doping test result.”

"I want to have a B sample test but I don’t have US$3,000 to pay for it,” he said. “I still have to treat my injury and don’t know what to do now.”

Coach Nguyễn Văn Dần said the list of forbidden substances was growing longer all the time and athletes may not have updated information.

"Vinh had pains in his back, knee and hip after the Asian Games,” said Dần, who plans to take part in a course on doping in the near future. “He could not work on heavy load and needed pain killers. It was an unintentional action as he is inexperienced. We talked and he will accept the fine and ban.”

Vinh is waiting for the final decision which may cost him $5,000 and an eight-year ban from the IWF.

"It is a lesson for athletes and regrettable for Vinh as he is young and full of potential,” said Kháng who is also deputy head of the National Sports Administration’s Elite Sports 2 Department. “His future is brilliant. We have supported him a lot.”

On February 8, IWF reported on its website that female lifter Nguyễn Thị Phương Thanh also had a positive doping test result. — VNS

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