Beijing: Chinese athletes were warned on 6 April to avoid tainting the national image with doping scandals before and during the 2008 Olympic Games, state media reported.
To reduce the risk of national shame, the sports ministry is planning to launch a propaganda campaign on eliminating doping, a senior official was quoted as saying.
“From now until the 2008 Beijing Olympics, all sports departments under the (sports ministry) should not allow any kind of drug scandal to happen,” Jiang Zhixue, head of the ministry’s science and education department, was quoted as saying in the China Daily.
“And during the Beijing Olympics it must be made sure that there are no doping incidents involving national team athletes.”
China’s sporting reputation was battered by several major drug busts in the 1990s but has recovered in recent years following a crackdown by authorities.
Last year the World Anti-Doping Agency praised China’s commitment to the fight against drugs in sport, saying progress had been made.
However, problems remain, highlighted notably by a sports school scandal
Authorities who raided the school in northern Lioning province last August caught teachers injecting teenagers with drugs including testosterone, a growth hormone often used to build muscle strength, and EPO, a blood doping agent used in endurance sports.
They also found nearly 450 bottles of performance enhancing drugs, some being used by athletes as young as 15.
“To realize the goal of no doping cases we have to promote related education among players and coaches,” Jiang was quoted as saying.
Chinese doping officials complain that despite rigorous bans and monitoring from central authorities, sports organisations at provincial level and below are difficult to monitor.