Thu, Sep 07, 2000 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan officials accept IWF's decision


Chen Jui-lien, shown in this August file photo, will not be going to Sydney.


It's now official. Champion woman weightlifter Chen Jui-lian (陳瑞蓮) may go to the Olympics -- but only as a spectator. Yesterday the Cabinet's National Council on Physical Fitness and Sports said in a statement that it accepted the decision by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to bar Chen and Wu Mei-yi (吳美儀) from competing.

The IWF said it had come under "strong international pressure" to ban the athletes.

The council expressed regret over the incident, which it said should serve as a warning to other Taiwan athletes and coaches.

Wu Mei-yi (吳美儀) was suspended after testing positive in July for using the same kind of drugs as Chen.

Wu's coach, Tsai Wen-yee (蔡溫義), insisted the tests contained "many flaws."

"What right do they have to ban Wu Mei-yi?" Tsai said.

"Our officials are too foolish," said Tsai, who took bronze in the men's weightlifting at the 1984 Olympics. "They went and told others our problems. Now the whole world knows."

It was originally assumed that replacements for the two weightlifters would be accepted by the federation.

Because the use of drugs was uncovered by the media and not admitted first by Olympic authorities in Taiwan, no replacements will be accepted, the IWF said.

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