Changing China

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Haze clears but doping cloud darkens


Baldini in a file photoI flew into Beijing today and was pretty surprised to find clear blue skies. Smog? What smog?

Maybe it will last, maybe not, but it’s clear that the issue of drugs in sport is not going away. Italian fencer Andrea Baldini became the latest athlete to fail a doping test in the run-up to the Games, as it was revealed on Friday that the gold medal hopeful had tested positive for the diuretic furosemide in Kiev last month.

Baldini has said he is innocent but he has been suspended pending the B sample. If that confirms the result he will miss the Games.

The news is the latest doping blow to the Olympics. On Thursday we heard that seven leading Russian women athletes would miss the Games after the IAAF said they were suspected of manipulating samples.