North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

IOC Expresses Concern about doping by DPRK WWC Team

AFP reports that the head of the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission is “looking into” the DPRK’s internal control processes for its athletes who use anabolic steroids, after two players from the DPRK’s women’s soccer team tested positive for the performance enhancers during the 2011 Women’s World Cup.

Professor Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC’s Medical Commission, has said he will look into the matter after North Korean defenders Song Jong-Sun and Jong Pok-Sim failed doping tests at Germany 2011.

The pair were removed from the lineup for North Korea’s goalless draw with Colombia in Bochum on Wednesday and with their team eliminated, the squad left Germany early on Thursday morning to return home.

Ljungqvist says he wants to know more about testing in North Korea, but is realistic about finding out more about doping checks in the Asian totalitarian state.

“I understand the mistrust of others, but I do not really know much about doping controls in this country, which has a closed society like no other in the world,” said Ljungqvist at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa.

Football’s governing body FIFA had the remaining 19 members of the North Korean team tested for banned substances after their final group game and have asked for Song and Jong’s B samples to be examined.

In total, there have now been three failed doping tests at the women’s World Cup after Colombian player Yineth Varon failed an out-of-competition test in Leverkusen on 25 June.

Chang Ung (Photo: ITF)

The news of Professor Ljungqvist’s concerns occurred after Japan exempted the DPRK’s IOC representative, Chang Ung, from an October 2006 ban on DPRK nationals traveling to that country.  According to Kyodo, Chang has been allowed to attend the 14 July (Thursday) Olympic Committee of Asia meeting and will remain in the country from 11 July (Monday) to 17 July (Sunday).


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July 2011