Cambodian Athlete Disqualified in S Korea for Doping

A Cambodian soft tennis player has been disqualified from the Asian Games for testing positive for a banned substance, according to a statement released by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on Thursday.

Yi Sophany, 18, tested positive for the banned substance Sibutramine after providing a pre-competition urine sample on September 16 and has been disqualified from the games, the statement signed by Dr. Mani Jegathesan, chairman of OCA’s Medical Committee and Anti-Doping Commission, says.

The statement says the findings will be forwarded to the Cambodian authorities, the Asian & International Soft Tennis Federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency “for further action.”

Sibutramine acts as an amphetamine and is used to treat obesity.

Vat Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), confirmed that Ms. Sophany failed the drug test, but said this was due to food she ate in Cambodia prior to traveling to the games in Incheon, South Korea, which began on Friday.

“Our female athlete did not know she had this kind of substance in her system. Before she came [to Incheon], her parents provided her with some food and drink to improve her health,” he said.

Mr. Chamroeun said he personally spoke with doctors at the games, who agreed that something she might have consumed in the run-up to the games could have contained Sibutramine, adding that all Cambodian athletes are informed about banned substances before traveling to major competitions.

“We held a few meetings and seminars to inform athletes about what substances to avoid…it is not just Cambodia that faces this problem. Other countries have also had athletes banned,” he said.

Cambodia is the second country to have an athlete disqualified for violating anti-doping rules at the Asian Games. Tajikistan football player Khurshed Beknazarov tested positive for a banned substance on Tuesday.

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