North Korean shooter caught for doping

A double medallist from North Korea, Kim Jong-Su, tested positive for having taken banned beta-blocker drugs. A Spanish cyclist and a Vietnamese gymnast have already been banned from the Games.



North Korea's Kim Jong-Su, who won silver and bronze medals in the Olympics shooting, has failed a doping test, International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokeswoman Giselle Davies announced on Friday.

Kim, who won a silver medal in the men's 50m pistol and bronze in the 10m pistol, tested positive for having taken banned beta-blocker drugs.

Davies also said that Vietnamese gymnast Do Thi Ngan Thuong had tested positive for taking the banned diuretic furosemide.

Speaking at a news conference, Davies said China's Tan Zongliang Tan would be promoted to silver in the 50m event, with bronze now going to Russia's Vladimir Isakov while Kim's bronze in the 10m competition would instead be awarded to Jason Turner of the United States.

"He came forward with a positive test and his medals and diploma will be withdrawn," Davies said of Kim. "The IOC now asks the shooting sport federation to modify the results."

Professor Arne Ljungqvist, the head of the IOC's medical commission, was in no doubt that Kim had deliberately taken drugs. "This beta-blocking agent is banned only in certain sports such as shooting and archery which require great control. Therefore I can only describe it, (the drug-taking) as deliberate."

He was more charitable when it came to the case of Thuong, whom he believed had been poorly advised.

"This was probably a result of poor information to a young athlete did not have the knowledged of what to avoid and what she was allowed to take."

The cases took the number of confirmed doping incidents announced at the Games to three following cyclist Maria Isobel Moreno's positive test for the banned blood-booster EPO, a test conducted on the Spanish rider last month before the Olympics started.

IOC President Jacques Rogge had said on the eve of the Games that he expected there to be between 30-40 positive tests during this Olympics, based on the record 26 positives in Athens four years ago.

But with the end of the first week of Olympic competition approaching and only three positive tests announced, Ljungqvist was asked if this meant the dope-cheats had left those trying to catch them far behind.

"The cheaters are not way ahead," he said.

"My interpretation is that this a feature of increased awareness in the sports world that doping is unacceptable, and you don't compete in the Olympic Games if you are doped," he said. "I feel the figures are rather encouraging."

Davies added that 2,203 tests had been conducted on athletes qualified for the Beijing Games, 1,250 of which were conducted before they started, with 1,720 urine samples and 483 blood samples taken.

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