Days after Chanu Saikhom Mirabai won the silver medal in the 49kg women’s weightlifting category at the Tokyo Olympics, news organisations reported that Mirabai stood a chance of bagging the Gold medal if China’s Hou Zhihui failed a doping test.
On 26 July, ANI reported that China’s Hou Zhihui who won the gold medal in the 49kg category of weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics “will be tested by anti-doping authorities and if she fails the test, India’s Mirabai Chanu will be awarded gold.”
“She has been asked to stay in Tokyo and the test will be done. The test is definitely happening,” reported ANI, based on a “source in the know of developments.”
An archive version of ANI’s report can be viewed here.
One such Twitter user’s post reads, “Hou Zhihui will be tested for doping. She beat Mirabai Chanu in 49kg women’s category weightlifting and secured gold. If she fails the test, Mirabai Chanu will be awarded gold. #MirabaiChanu #HouZhihui #Weightlifting #Tokyo2020”
Fact Check / Verification
In reference to their earlier report about Mirabai’s chances of winning the Gold if China’s Hou failed a doping test, ANI later reported that “there has been no testing and it was an inadvertent error while reporting the news.”
ANI’s 30 July report reads, “It stands clarified that Hou was not taken for an anti-doping test. Furthermore, there have been no developments from the routine anti-doping procedures that were carried out after the 49kg competition.”
An archived version of this report can be viewed here.
Newschecker reached out to the International Testing Agency (ITA) for clarification on Hou’s doping test after she won the gold medal.
ITA’s Communications Manager, Marta, responded via email saying “The ITA transparently discloses all apparent or confirmed anti-doping rule violations and publishes them on its website. Based on this principle, we do not share any comments before issuing any statements ourselves. We have not issued any statement regarding the athlete you mention.”
We cross-checked on ITA’s website and found no statement about China’s Hou undergoing a doping test after her Olympic Gold win.
Note that neither ANI nor the other news organisations that reported on Hou’s alleged doping test after her Olympic win has unpublished their reports at the time of writing this article.
Newschecker has reached out to the World Anti-Doping Agency. This article will be updated on receiving a response from them.
With inputs from Preeti Chauhan
China’s Hou Zhihui was not tested by anti-doping authorities after her Olympic Gold win in the 49kg weightlifting category. Earlier reports by ANI and other news organisations on Mirabai bagging the Gold if Hou were to fail the test are misleading.
International Testing Agency: https://ita.sport/ita-news/
International Testing Agency’s Communications Manager
If you would like us to fact-check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at email@example.com. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.