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Thirty-four-year-old Chinese long-distance runner Xin Zhang produced an adverse analytical finding in a sample with the presence of a metabolite of metandienone. Metandienone also known as methandienone is an anabolic steroid more commonly used in the sport of bodybuilding. Professional bodybuilders have admitted to using methandrostenolone for long periods before it was banned. Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to using it.

In April an accredited lab in Beijing tested Zhang’s sample.

Zhang owns a marathon best of 2:32:07 from Shanghai in 2006. She hasn’t run as fast as her bests mostly achieved during 2009 and 2010.

There was a training partner who admitted to having metanienone in her water bottle. Therefore Zhang suggested that she may have drank from her bottle.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) asked Chinese Anti-doping (CHINADA) to get involved. The organization also confirmed that the training partner had admitted to purchasing metandienone via WeChat but that because metandienone was expensive, they later purchased liothyronine (T3), stanozolol and mesterelone. The training partner confirmed that they no longer had any metandienone in their possession and that they had deleted all chat records from WeChat “for fear of being investigated for doping.”

Zhang received a three-year suspension. It was reduced by one year for readily admitting to fault.