Wheelchair basketball player sent home for doping at Paralympics

A German wheelchair basketball player has been sent home from the Paralympics in Beijing on Wednesday after testing positive for doping.

Wheelchair basketball player sent home for doping at Paralympics
An official team photo of Ahmet Coskun. Photo: DPA

Ahmet Coskun was found to have taken the banned substance finasteride during a routine check on August 23 by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). The synthetic substance is often used to fight hair loss, but it can also conceal other performance-enhancing drugs.

“I was thinking about my hair and had no idea that a hair growth product contained banned substances,” Coskun said in a statement released by the German Disabled Sporting Association (DBS). “I’m completely distraught, doping never entered my mind.”

The 33-year-old athlete will return to Germany, however, his teammates will be allowed to continue taking part in the Paralympics. Officials said they would decide later whether Coskun will be subject to a lengthier suspension.

DBS Vice President Karl Quade expressed dismay over the incident. “We truly regret this news during the Paralympics,” he said. “We take topic anti-doping extremely seriously.”


Germany toughens China travel warning over ‘invasive’ Covid tests

Germany has toughened its advisory against travel to China, warning that travellers could be placed under hospital quarantine for weeks upon arrival and subjected to "invasive" medical tests even if they have previously recovered from the coronavirus.

Germany toughens China travel warning over 'invasive' Covid tests
A plane flying from Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

In its latest travel advisory update, the Foreign Ministry said that the stringent measures were imposed on “people cured of Covid-19”, as well as others who test positive for antibodies because of an undetected illness, or others who had arrived on the same flight and who test positive for the coronavirus.

“Medical measures applied by the Chinese side are invasive and include in part daily blood tests and computer scans,” the Foreign Ministry said.

All travellers arriving in China are required to serve a 14-day quarantine at a location determined by the government.

While small children are “as a rule” allowed to spend their quarantine with their parents, those aged 14 years and up can be placed in isolation away from their family.

The Süddeutsche newspaper reported that the ministry had heightened its warning after two German nationals were held in hospital quarantine for several weeks.

Both had recovered from the coronavirus previously and had tested positive for antibodies, added the report, noting that they were nevertheless forced to undergo medical tests.

The newspaper said the Foreign Ministry had filed protests with the Chinese government over how the two Germans were treated.