A Chinese Liu Ning who administered anabolic steroids to her athletes via massage gel when she was the coach of Thailand Women’s Weightlifting Team has been provincially suspended. As a result of the doping infarction the Thailand team lost three world titles in 2018.
Liu Ning, from China, was national women’s team coach at the time and has been blamed for Thailand’s nine positive tests at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships.
Liu claimed the administered prohibited substance was to relieve athletes’ muscle injuries. In all seven Thai were positives – seven women and two men.
Those positives ultimately cost Thailand its place at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because the Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association (TAWA) first withdrew, then was suspended from international competition for multiple offences.
Liu is the second high-profile coach to have been suspended under Articles 2.8 and 2.9 of the IWF’s Anti-Doping Policy, which cover “administration or attempted administration” of prohibited substances, and complicity in encouraging athletes to dope.
The first was Khaled Korany, who was national coach of Egypt when seven young athletes tested positive at a training camp before the 2016 African Youth and Junior Championships.
The Egyptian Korany, whose latest job was national coach of Tunisia, was suspended last May and was recently informed that his case is being dealt with by the International Testing Agency.
Thailand, which also featured in a doping scandal involving teenagers in 2011, lost three 2018 World Championships gold medals when its athletes were disqualified.
The “winners” in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, who forfeited their medals were Thunya Sukcharoen, Chayuttra Pramongkhol and Sukanya Srisurat at the three lightest weight categories for women, 45kg, 49kg and 55kg.