Banned lifter Chen announces retirement


TAIPEI, CNA

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not support an application by the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) to replace two weightlifters banned for doping, a CTOC spokesman said yesterday.

The spokesman said the CTOC received a copy of a letter addressed to the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), saying that the IOC could not support the CTOC proposal to send two weightlifters to replace the two banned from competing in the upcoming Sydney Olympics.

The IOC letter also requested that the IWF prohibit Chen Jui-lien and Wu Mei-yi, two of Taiwan’s brightest medal hopes, from taking part in the Olympics in accordance with international anti doping regulations, the CTOC spokesman said.

CTOC Deputy Secretary-General Chen Kuo-yi said the two lifters would have their Olympic applications withdrawn “so as to maintain Taiwan’s international image.”

The move means that the Republic of China’s 111-member Olympic delegation, including 58 athletes, will be reduced to a total of 108, including 56 athletes.

Chen Jui-lien later announced her temporary retirement from weightlifting, telling local reporters that she and Wu were deeply frustrated by their Olympic ban. “I must spend some time considering my next step,” she said, pointing out that at the age of 28, she must consider her chances of still being at the top of her game for the next Olympics in four year’s time.

She also called on local weightlifting circles to stand united and concentrate on getting more local weightlifters into the international sporting arena.

Meanwhile, it was reported that President Chen Shui-bian was scheduled to preside Thursday over a ceremony to present the Chinese Taipei flag to the Olympic delegation at Tzoying Sports Training Center in southern Taiwan.