Seven of eight bodybuilders fail dope tests

They tested eight and seven failed.

In a stunning turn of events, The New Paper has learnt that seven bodybuilders tested positive for banned substances at the recent National Bodybuilding Championships.

The seven athletes, whose names have not been disclosed by the Singapore Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (SBBF), have been notified by Anti-Doping Singapore (ADS) of the finding.

In response to queries sent by The New Paper, Yeo Say Po, general manager of Anti-Doping Singapore said: "ADS takes a very serious stance on the abuse of prohibited substances in sports.

"Integrity and fair play are of utmost importance, and we will continue to work with the national sports associations to educate officials and athletes on maintaining a drug-free sporting environment in Singapore."

The eight athletes were selected randomly, from approximately 50 competitors at the July event, for testing by ADS.

The urine samples were collected at the championship, in the presence of ADS and SBBF officials.

The seven athletes now have the right to request for a second "B" sample to be analysed to confirm the finding.

Alternatively, they can choose to waive this right and accept the sanctions issued by the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Committee (NADC).

Deadline

The athletes had to respond to ADS by Tuesday.

Last year, the SBBF signed a collective agreement to abide by the ADS Anti-Doping Rules.

Under the rules, the SBBF is required to impose the sanctions issued by NADC on their athletes, which mean a two-year ban for first-time offenders and a lifetime ban for repeat offenders.

A source within the bodybuilding fraternity said that none of the seven have been tested in a competition before.

SBBF general secretary Shawn Sugendran said he was not aware whether the seven athletes plan to appeal or not.

He said: "They are dealing directly with ADS, so they will respond by themselves.

"As of now, SBBF has suspended them provisionally. If there is no appeal, then we will impose sanctions.

"If any of the seven are title winners, they will be stripped of their titles and the runners-up will be awarded first-place."

This is not the first time that bodybuilders have tested positive for banned substances.

In 1995, Jojo Sinclair, the first Asian woman to win a world title, was nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year award, and then later found guilty of doping and banned for life.

Earlier this month, SBBF president Rano Izhar made headlines when he admitted to having taught a fellow athlete how to use steroids in 2010.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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