Press conference on Olympic dope Management

The Beijing Olympic Media Center sincerely invites you to a press conference on Dope Management for the XXIX Olympic Games on June 18. The spokesman from the State Food & Drug Administration, as well as the State Administration for Industry & Commerce will brief you at the press conference and take your questions. presented live coverage of the press conference.Full Coverage In Pictures Back to Live Cast


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  • Press conference on doping control


  • A press conference on doping control for the XXIX Olympic Games was held on June 18. Officials from the State Food and Drug Administration briefed the media on doping control and took questions. presented live coverage of the press conference.


  • Li Zhanjun:

    Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the newly established Beijing international Media Center. This is the press conference hall. From now on all the press conferences will be held here. Today, this press conference is on the regulation, manufacturing, and selling of prohibited substances. Today we are delighted to be joined by Deputy Commissioner of the State Food and Drug Administration, Mr. Wu Zhen, and Deputy Counsel of the Department of Drug Safety and Inspection, State Food and Drug Administration Mr. Gao Feng. These two gentlemen will brief you on the manufacturing, selling, and restricting of prohibited substances, after which they will take questions from you. This will last approximately one hour.

    2008-06-18 15:00:52

  • Wu Zhen:

    Ladies and gentlemen, Good afternoon. I would like to thank all of you for your attention to our regulation work and your support of our work, to which the Chinese government has attached great importance.

    2008-06-18 15:02:10

  • Wu Zhen:

    The Chinese Government attaches great importance to anti-doping work; the State Council has devoted special efforts to the deployment of doping, and set up the leading group for doping control involved by eight organizations, such as, State Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Industry and Information, Ministry of Health, State Administration for Industry and Commerce, China Customs, General Administration for Sport of China, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), to conduct special management action on production and distribution of doping.

    2008-06-18 15:04:18

  • Wu Zhen:

    First, Joint -Management, Multi-Sectoral Joint Doping Campaign

    Eight organizations jointly issued the special management action program on the manufacturing and distribution of doping, according to responsibilities and duties of each organization, to conduct information sharing, joint inspection and parallel investigations, each organization in accordance with the program of special efforts form the work mechanism of a joint participation, division of collaboration, and co-ordination. At present, all works go well according to work plan assigned by each organization.

    2008-06-18 15:06:59

  • Wu Zhen:

    Second, the Measures of the Doping Control are effective for the drug production and sales enterprises.

    2008-06-18 15:07:51

  • Wu Zhen:

    On the basis of joint special management of protein assimilation preparations and peptide hormones in the second half of last year, the State Food and Drug Administration set up the Implementation Plan for Special Management of Production and Distribution of Doping, sternly issued the notices of investigate and punish acts of illegal production and distribution, clearly indentified requirements of five "if any" and five "shall be":

    2008-06-18 15:09:43

  • Wu Zhen:

    If any enterprise that drug has not obtained the approval document but illegally produce and sell in market, the Drug Manufacturing License shall revoked; if any enterprise that drug has obtained the approval document but illegally produce and sell in market the drug's approval documents shall be withdrew, up to that the Drug Manufacturing License shall be revoked; if any enterprise without authorization but illegally does pharmaceutical wholesale business, the Pharmaceutical Trade License shall revoked; if any as appointed pharmaceutical wholesale enterprise purchase and sell drugs without according to relevant regulation, the Pharmaceutical Trade License shall be revoked; if any pharmaceutical retail enterprise engages in business of protein assimilation preparations and peptide hormones except insulin, the Pharmaceutical Trade License shall be revoked.

    2008-06-18 15:11:27

  • Wu Zhen:

    To further implement the responsibility of governance, and increase the intensity of training, we also adopted the following measures: First, to implement the responsibility system. State Food and Drug Administration and the provincial food and drug administrations have signed letters of responsibility. Second, to accredit the inspectors into more than 80 pharmaceutical enterprises that produce protein assimilation preparations and peptide hormones, they have all arrived before April 30th.

    2008-06-18 15:13:09

  • Wu Zhen:

    Third, to do inspection check in relevant pharmaceutical manufactures, wholesales and retails. Fourth, to organize the manufacturing enterprises of protein assimilation preparations and peptide hormones to launch the initiatives for strict self-discipline. Fifth, to organize the activities of anti-doping promotion, promotion week, display panels and posters in retail pharmacies and so on. Sixth, to require a warning sign of Athletes Caution on all drugs containing doping, all drugs produced after the 1st of October in 2007 but without this sign shall be taken off.

    2008-06-18 15:15:11

  • Wu Zhen:

    As of May 31, 2008, all levels food and drug agencies have conducted inspection check to national wide protein assimilation preparations and peptide hormones enterprises, pharmaceutical wholesale enterprises with business license of protein assimilation preparations and peptide hormones and all pharmaceutical retail pharmacies. In mid-May, we conducted comprehensive inspection checks and unannounced visits to six cities of Olympic event contractors, the inspection results show that the pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises, wholesale enterprises, retail pharmacies have basically reached a doping control requirements for the work.

    2008-06-18 15:17:36

  • Wu Zhen:

    Third, to punish severely, and resolutely investigate and deal with illegal production and distribution of doping Cases.

    2008-06-18 15:19:18

  • Wu Zhen:

    Since the development of special management action, various organizations have coordinated and severely punished illegal production and distribution of doping cases. Since the second half of last year until now, it has been found that 23 chemical enterprises in illegal production and distribution of protein assimilation preparations and peptide hormones, and have been ordered to stop production and distributions; 125 illegal production and distribution enterprises have found (93 of all were retail pharmacies) and 3 manufacturing enterprises who have conducted illegal activities have been stopped producing relevant drugs, Pharmaceutical Trade Licenses of 18 pharmaceutical distribution enterprises have been revoked, the administrative punishments have been implemented to other illegal pharmaceutical production and distribution enterprises according with laws; 321 websites that illegally released the information of the protein assimilation preparations and peptide hormones selling have been analyzed and dealt with.

    2008-06-18 15:22:47

  • Wu Zhen:

    Fourth, work plan for next step.

    We must further intensify efforts to make special management action of doping: First, eight organizations will focus on emphases supervision of doping control work, led by head of each organization to six cities of Olympic event contractors and some provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) at the end of this month to early next month. Second, to investigate openly and secretly, severely punish illegal cases, intensify investigation and handling to illegally manufacturing and distributing doping, all confirmed illegal acts will be strictly and severely punished in accordance with the law. Third, the Notice for Announcing Telephone Hotlines of Special Management of Doping will be jointly released, promulgating the telephone number and email address. Fourth, for theses cases of illegally producing and distributing the doping, once confirmed and verified, should be exposed in public.

    2008-06-18 15:23:24

  • United Press International:

    In your introductory materials you talk about various organizations that you've captured so far. Can you give us specific names of these companies and can you tell us where they are located? Is there any specific region in China that has more of these doping activities than others and can you tell us how many Chinese athletes have been found to have these illegal substances so far.

    2008-06-18 15:25:11

  • Wu Zhen:

    To answer your first question, in my brief introduction I did give you some figures on the violating businesses -- 125 pharmaceutical manufacturers, among them 3 were ordered to stop their production. We also revoked some of their licenses. To get more specific, these three businesses that were revoked of their licenses: Well, who are they? The first one is from Changchun -- Jinsai Pharmaceutical; the second one is Shenzhen Saibao'er; the third one is Shenzhen Xinpeng. These three produced EPO and growth promoters. Their products were sold to uncertified wholesalers. These three were actually authorized manufacturers of the prohibitive substances -- they had their licenses and approvals. However in selling the drugs they had some violation. In terms, mainly, that they sold the drugs to unauthorized or uncertified wholesalers. The violations were confirmed. Once caught they were ordered to stop their operation. If they cannot be corrected they will be ordered not to resume their operation. The 18 wholesalers with their licenses revoked, 9 are in Liaoning, 6 in Jilin, 2 in Hebei, one in Shandong.

    2008-06-18 15:27:55

  • CCTV:

    I have a question for the commissioner. During the regulation process, which part -- whether it is a production or distribution violation -- is more difficult for us to regulate? And what are the measures to guarantee effective regulation?

    2008-06-18 15:29:27

  • Wu Zhen:

    Production and distribution of doping is a circle. You cannot cut too separately because those products are for distribution and the distribution will increase production, however to produce this, distributors are different. Producers should be authorized producers with licenses. Distributors should be authorized wholesalers with licenses so the products and distributors can be caught separately. I think production is more important. To stop the chain from the very beginning from the original production is our major task. And wholesalers are carriers of those doping drugs. And now we demand the producers to sell the drugs to authorized traders.

    2008-06-18 15:31:09

  • Wu Zhen:

    However sometimes some producers sell the drugs to unauthorized traders in order to get more profit so we think we should enforce the crackdown on the illegal production and unauthorized producers. We have to regulate the channels of distribution. Of course wholesalers are a major target of our regulation because wholesalers will sell these drugs to the retailers. According to our regulation, the authorized wholesalers sell the drugs to authorized drugstores. Unauthorized drug stores or hospitals are not entitled to purchasing the drugs so we basically have a very strict control of the channels. We also can go down to the end of the channel. Thus the wholesalers or producers should be regulated.

    2008-06-18 15:33:39

  • ITV News, UK:

    Can I ask you about one particular drug that has made a lot of headlines around the world? Human growth hormone is widely manufactured and readily available in China. What action are you specifically taking on that drug and doesn't the ease of that drug in China make it very difficult to have a doping free Olympic games?

    2008-06-18 15:35:01

  • Wu Zhen:

    About HGH. it is a drug that can be used for therapeutic use however if it is used for athletes to enhance performance, it is a doping drug. So there is a clear cut line. If the usage of the HGH is legal it can save lives. If the usage is illegal the person should be held accountable. In china, the EPO can be gotten from the hospitals and is a prescription drug. In the past you can get that in the drug stores but now you cannot get those drugs in the drugstores. Our regulation hovers over steps of the whole chain: of producers, wholesalers, and resellers. We have the five principles and keep very strict disciplines. Everyone who violates those rules will be held accountable. The regulation will be implemented and checked.

    2008-06-18 15:37:56

  • Wu Zhen:

    We found that most of the operations were in line with the regulations. As long as there is a violation, the relevant people will be held accountable and we will cover the investigations. The only purpose is to guarantee that producers and wholesalers are operating according to the rules and the retailers are also operating according to the rules. If you are interested in this you can go to drug stores for investigation. If you can get any illegal doping in any of those drug stores, please inform me and I will hold them accountable.

    2008-06-18 15:39:20

  • China Business News:

    Two questions -- Just now you mentioned that all the violation actions will be punished. I would like to know what is the case of the most severe punishment. Secondly you mentioned that the department carried out investigations and recovered inspections to all host and co-host cities. Can you please give one specific example about severe punishment?

    2008-06-18 15:41:00

  • Wu Zhen:

    The SFDA has issued five notices and according to the rules we have the responsibility to carry out those punishments. In the near future four departments will jointly issue another announcement with our Ministry of Public Security of SFDA , so that we can strengthen our regulations. All the violations will be punished severely according to our rules. Licenses and certificates will be revoked and the Ministry of Public Security will also investigate and punish them. In May we carried out an inspection to all the host cities and co-host cities. I would like to brief you on this investigation. We did not only hear their reports. We actually went to the wholesalers, resellers, and producers to check the origins and channels of distributions; one major channel is to trace this through computer because we have a record for the channel and all the data of the drugs in a computer system.

    2008-06-18 15:43:35

  • Wu Zhen:

    I will give you an example. I went to Tianjin to check a wholesaler. They sold EPO to a retailer and so we went to the retailer -- a hospital, a clinic. I went to this clinic and there actually was this EPO from the wholesaler. In another example in Shandong I went to a wholesaler. This wholesaler actually bought their drugs from another wholesaler. This is called parallel trading. One of the wholesalers sold the drugs to a clinic and we went to the clinic. We actually traced it back to the wholesalers and found out every detail of the case. We cannot miss any of the drugs; everything will be regulated.

    2008-06-18 15:45:09

  • Canadian media:

    Any idea of who was using those illegal drugs. Were they all athletes or could they have been used by other people, too?

    2008-06-18 15:47:40

  • Wu Zhen:

    Prohibitive substances of course are illegally sold and illegally consumed. Without illegal consumption demand there wouldn't be a market for selling. But as for who are using these. Generally speaking, there are two groups. I'm sure there are athletes because we see that in reports. A second group would be teenagers. For body building, they probably want to get high because you know doping can give spiritual as well as muscular highs just as any narcotic. So I think one of the groups is the teenagers. This is one issue that we attach great importance to, and that's why we need to be more aggressive on anti-doping. Partly for a successful Olympic games, partly for health of athletes, meantime to protect health of teenagers from substance abuse and these problems probably occur because of a result of the foreign influence. Many countries in the west have these problems. In China we start to see these problems cropping up. That's why we need to be more aggressive, more forceful to protect these teenagers and other groups.

    2008-06-18 15:49:39

  • German radio:

    I'm asking about websites in which you can buy dope from other countries that were made in China. How are you going to control these websites?

    2008-06-18 15:51:26

  • Wu Zhen:

    Online sales or sales through the websites are one of our major tasks. Because the internet is a virtual space, it's probably the most deceiving and very easy to be concealed, but the selling is real. We have regulations on online selling of drugs. First of all, they need to be certified by the authorities to promote their drugs and sell drugs. Without authorization from the authorities, they are prohibited from marketing their drugs. This is what is said in the regulations. However we do find some drug sellers or retailers sell drugs, including prohibited substances, online. As I said in my brief introduction, we have uncovered 321 websites that were illegally marketing these two drugs and agents and peptide hormones.

    2008-06-18 15:53:36

  • Wu Zhen:

    We need to find out if they are certified first, if they have sold these two drugs, once caught they will be punished severely. We will track them down. In uncovering such cases we do find it very difficult because websites are very flexible. Once we got reports, we would track down websites, then go to manufacturers. However we sometimes find the address published on the website to be false - the manufacturers listed on the website being used as a scapegoat. Some of the addresses are also foreign addresses so it is very difficult. You can see that we need international joint efforts on anti-doping. In this regard, on this end, we are enhancing cooperation with the international community.

    2008-06-18 15:55:14

  • Beijing Daily:

    Currently some foreign media reported that China sold a lot of stimulants and prohibited substances abroad in the large scale. Can you speak about this?

    2008-06-18 15:57:47

  • Wu Zhen:

    Well in large scale? That's very sensitive. It's not a good thing to hear. Because when you say "in large scale" the connotation is illegally. I don't think such a report is objective or based on facts. Why is that? Because China is a big exporter of drugs, but most of the drugs are actually not manufactured drugs but in fact materials, for example, a lot of capsules. We actually don't export a lot of manufactured pills, at least not to developed countries in Europe and North America. And then the materials, the raw materials for the prohibited substances or stimulants --they can't be taken. The materials can't be taken unless they're made into pills. So how can we get the pills to the foreign countries? We have to abide by international agreements. For some of the substances to be sold to a foreign country they have to be sold through a legal channel.

    2008-06-18 15:59:27

  • Wu Zhen:

    Once the raw materials are exported to a foreign country and then if such raw materials are made into prohibited substances the responsibility is not ours anymore. So let's be clear --we have very stringent regulation. China customs and SFDA have clearly defined in our regulations regarding exports of raw materials for prohibited substances. First you have to have credentials, then go through customs clearance, apply with China custom -- all before you get approval from authorities. You have to go through all these procedures. So we can say that we have laws established, regulations to refer to. So why do I say "in large scale" is not a very nice thing to hear. Because there had been reports using things like that. Some of the reports could provide addresses or contact information but other reports can't. If they do have contact information we will follow the leads, we will severely punish the violators. In my brief introduction I said that we ordered three manufacturers out of production.

    2008-06-18 16:01:40

  • Wu Zhen:

    I'll give you another example. Jiangxi FDA and their provincial public security bureau gave a sentence - the suspects stood trial and paid 800,000 yuan in fines and the responsible person was sentenced to seven years in jail. We have regulations and we have actions. The Chinese government has been responsive to doping. In 2007 we mounted a campaign and again severely punished the violators so there will be no non-compliances in manufacturing, selling, and retailing. I want to stress another point regarding "in large scale." Reports regarding the export of raw materials should be objective because a lot of products are through legal channels, and are certified. Purposes of these raw materials were clearly specified. So these exports are not illegal. So exports from China as well as such reports on that are actually sourced from the Internet.

    2008-06-18 16:03:14

  • Wu Zhen:

    We have to notice that the Internet is an important channel for a lot of drugs to be sold. That's why we are going tough on Internet sales of drugs. The SFDA and other authorities are taking a series of measures and appealing to all countries in the world to support us. This is a challenge faced by the international community. We are willing to work with all countries in the world to have a safe and clean Olympic Games and we also hope to see objective and fact-based reports and news articles. Any information that provides leads on violators is welcome, and we welcome supervision and inspection. Also we cannot accept nonobjective reports.

    2008-06-18 16:05:03

  • German Television:

    The US FDA listed 32 Chinese manufacturers who were suspected of exporting raw materials of prohibited substances. What is the response from the Chinese side? Second, some of the drugs have been ordered to stop production. Can you be more specific?

    2008-06-18 16:07:39

  • Wu Zhen:

    To answer your first question regarding the FDA listed manufacturers, the 32 Chinese manufacturers. We are not provided by the FDA with such a list, I don't think they are in charge of such a thing. Another US authorit --I think it was the Rehabilitation authority of the US found 37 Chinese manufacturers listed. So how do we go around this? I'd like to make a statement. First of all, the FDA has not been responsible in informing us on such an issue but the US rehabilitation Center informed the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and we were informed by the Ministry. According to my understanding, the Ministry of Public Security has already communicated our handling of such cases to the US authority. I think the interpretation now is that the US authority might be the Narcotics Control Center.

    2008-06-18 16:09:16

  • Wu Zhen:

    Twenty of the 37 pharmaceutical companies are certified. For the 17 others, we actually found that their addresses were invalid and their contact, telephone numbers invalid. The names of the pharmaceuticals were invalid so we cannot go any further. Thirteen of twenty have sold prohibited substances to the US and most of these pharmaceuticals are certified -- they have contracts and approval from the US side, even the approval from the US Narcotics Control Center. Of course, some of the listed pharmaceutical manufacturers violated rules, for example, without approval from the China customs, and we already made decisions regarding punishment.

    2008-06-18 16:11:16

  • Wu Zhen:

    To answer your second question, Jin Sai, the pharmaceutical company—well actually I'm not really personally in charge of such a case but I have a rough idea. Chang Chun Jingsai is a certified pharmaceutical manufacturer. It has licenses and the serial manufacturer produces 32 kinds of drug -- mostly hormones. It's violating practices include selling the hormones to unauthorized or uncertified wholesalers. And how much was sold? Not so much. Maybe just 100 units. So not a lot... However, even though one hundred is not a lot, but we still needed to punish it. We ordered it to stop production of it. So when can it resume? Once it's corrected.

    2008-06-18 16:13:50

  • South China Morning Post:

    In April there was a case, eleven lifters from the Team Greece were identified and during a debate their coach said that they got certain kind of drugs or preparations from a producer in Shanghai and many authorities from China are involved in this. However two months have passed and we haven't heard further news about this. I'd like to know more information. Secondly you just mentioned a case in Jiangxi where someone was punished and sent to jail for many years. I would like to know what kind of drugs he was trading. I know there are a lot of kinds of drugs in the prohibited list. For example if you produce narcotics you will be punished but for producers who create anabolic drug -- they only receive an administrative sanction. I'd like to know the details about the law for this Olympic Games. I'd like to know if the regulators will work out more laws.

    2008-06-18 16:15:56

  • Wu Zhen:

    About the Shanghai producers, the name is Shanghai Huirui. This company is going through the investigation by the Shanghai authorities. Just now I imagine that you haven't gotten any further news because we need time to make everything clear but believe that there will be further news to the public through the media. The second case is about the case in Jiangxi. They sold anabolic agents and peptide hormones and this producer was not authorized, not certified. They had no certificates or licenses and the value of their trade amounted to more than one million yuan. And the drugs they got were for unauthorized producers or wholesalers and they traded through the Internet, they released their information through the Internet, and they even sold some of the drugs through overseas companies.

    2008-06-18 16:17:56

  • Wu Zhen:

    You mentioned about the regulations or laws and how they were sentenced to seven years of jail. According to the regulations, their violation is illegal trading. And now we have strengthened the punishment, so we will have most severe punishment. Since he conducted illegal trade, he will be punished and now we will have adjustment to the anti-doping law. This law is a regulation issued by State Council. I'm not sure whether the anti doping regulation will be elevated to a law. We hope so, so we have more regulation power.

    2008-06-18 16:19:39

  • Bloomberg:

    You just mentioned 125 producers. I would like to know whether the case was very serious. So for example, you can give us some reference to know whether or not that is a big number or not? I would also like to know how many of the drugs they produced are illegal.

    2008-06-18 16:21:14

  • Wu Zhen:

    If you want to have the reference I can give you one. I can give you the numbers of the producers, wholesalers, and retailers. We have more than 4,000 producers of drugs in China that are certified. We have more than 10,000 wholesalers. And with these reference numbers you will know that 125 is not a very big number. But we cannot say that since it's not big we we're not taking it seriously. We will just mention that as long as there is one case we will punish them severely. What matters is whether there is an illegal case or not. In the past there were not very specific numbers so we can't give you numbers in terms of that period. Now we were going to start the third phase investigation, and then we will have another number, and we can compare the future number to this 125 number and see what kinds of progress we have made and also welcome information from the media so that we can have more information. We will also provide information to the media as soon as possible.

    2008-06-18 16:23:42

  • Daily Mail, UK:

    Is it possible to argue that this is an admirable effort to crack down on drugs on sports but maybe it's a little too difficult and a little too late? You talk about new regulations in April and crackdown last year, but most of these drugs were used on preparations for training and the games itself, given China has known it's going to have the Games since 2001 and has been a major drug supplier for longer. So why did it take you so long to step it up this way?

    2008-06-18 16:25:29

  • Wu Zhen:

    A very good question, very sensitive. Very thrilling for me to answer such a question. In 2004, China adopted anti-doping regulations. Since 2004 as a result we have had laws and regulations. We have had legal basis since then, and the SFDA and China Customs jointly developed implementation measures based on that law adapted in 2004. So we actually started measures in 2004. So why so aggressive now? Because we want to honor our commitment to deliver a fair and clean Olympic Games. In my capacity I can only promise one thing: In pharmacies you cannot buy any prohibited drugs or substances. Usually, stimulants are either bought from the clinics or pharmacies or black markets and so on. But for these channel -- you can count on your finger -- I can promise that within my capacity and responsibility I can take control and the newly adopted measures are more aggressive based on the past actions. They are intended to make sure that during the Olympic Games, such prohibited substances will not be purchased.

    2008-06-18 16:27:14

  • Wu Zhen:

    Is it too late? No, I don't think it's too late. We started such a campaign in 2004 and we're hitting milestones one after another, and we're proud of what we're building -- a long term mechanism so that wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers will abide by law and observe compliance for a clean practice. We probably can infer that some athletes purchased or bought prohibited substance before that to prepare for the Olympic Games. But we are responsible for ourselves. As the SFDA we want to make sure during and shortly before the Games if such drugs can be purchased on the market then it's our responsibility. And we welcome any information provided in reports. We will be tough on that and if we fail that it's our responsibility.

    2008-06-18 16:29:07

  • China Pharmaceutical News:

    Just now you said you'd be more aggressive in covert inspection. So what kinds of actions will be adopted in your covert inspections as well as the results of the inspection?

    2008-06-18 16:31:05

  • Wu Zhen:

    We started the covert inspections now to go all the way through the end of the Games. When we find any leads we will follow legal procedures and processes. Of course we have various methods. Covert inspection is intended to test the effectiveness of our measures to identify problems and further improve our anti-doping effort to ultimately achieve the goal of zero prohibited substances. That's our goal. Covert inspection will go all the way through the Olympic Games and we will have some results by mid-July. We will let you know any results we have by then.

    2008-06-18 16:33:37

  • Li Zhanjun:

    Thank you and thank you Ladies and Gentlemen for attending. According to our time schedule this is the end of the anti-doping meeting. At the end of this is the press conference on Paralympic Games ticketing. On Friday, we plan to have a press conference on Olympic Games traffic guarantees. Thank you.

    2008-06-18 16:35:07


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