FIH suspends China’s Li Dongxiao for one-year on dope charges

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The FIH Disciplinary Commissioner decided to suspend Li Dongxiao for a period of one year. The player has tested positive for sibutramine metabolites di-desmethylsibutramine following a doping control conducted after a Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2018 match on 16 May 2018 in Donghae (Republic of Korea), therefore violating Article 2.1. of the FIH Anti-Doping Rules.

Even though the decision to suspend Li was taken on November 8, the FIH has released the news today (Friday).

The Disciplinary Commissioner found that the substance was an ingredient in a slimming coffee that had been consumed by the player, but that the packaging of the coffee did not refer to the substance as an ingredient and the player was not aware at the time that she was consuming the substance. Nevertheless, under the strict liability rules of WADA, it was the responsibility of the player not to ingest any banned substance.

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On July 7, earlier this year, the player was provisionally suspended. Li Dongxiao has not appealed the sanction and shall serve a period of ineligibility of 12 months commencing on May 16 and ending at midnight on May 15 next year.

While the number of athletes tested positive remains very low in hockey (an average of 0.2% of the doping controls have resulted in a positive test in the last couple of years), FIH has made education and prevention against doping as well as the protection of clean athletes a priority.

A few thousand athletes – and an ever increasing number each year –  have taken a mandatory anti-doping online course before participating in FIH events since 2016. Furthermore, following a survey conducted by FIH among athletes where they indicated that they wanted to learn more about anti-doping and were interested to participate in interactive sessions, FIH will now provide even easier access to education tools in this regard. As an example, an anti-doping booth will be set-up at several Hockey Series Finals events next year.

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