FBI, Justice Department Launch Criminal Probe in Chinese Doping Scandal

The FBI and Justice Department are investigating a Chinese swimming doping scandal. Photo: Shutterstock

By Steve Neavling

The FBI and Justice Department have launched a criminal investigation into the role of anti-doping authorities and sports officials who enabled elite Chinese swimmers, who tested positive for banned substances, to avoid punishment and secure multiple medals, including three golds, at the last Olympics, The New York Times reports

The probe focuses on 11 Chinese swimmers who were improperly cleared to compete in the last edition of the summer games despite failing doping tests. 

Chinese officials made a far-fetched claim that food contamination was behind the failed drug tests. World Aquatics, the global swimming federation, accepted the story. 

The full scope of the scandal was revealed in a New York Times report two months ago, prompting a House Committee on China to request a federal investigation into the doping conspiracies. 

Instead of disciplining the athletes, the World Anti-Doping Agency and Chinese anti-doping authorities declined to suspend the athletes and kept the positive tests a secret, which allowed the swimmers to compete and win medals at the Games in Tokyo.

“World Aquatics can confirm that its executive director, Brent Nowicki, was served with a witness subpoena by the United States government,” World Aquatics said in a statement. “He is working to schedule a meeting with the government, which, in all likelihood will obviate the need for testimony before a grand jury.”

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