China’s hopes of competing in weightlifting here at the 2018 Asian Games have ended after the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) vowed to adhere to the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) ban on the country.
China had entered a team of 14, featuring four Olympic gold medallists, for Jakarta Palembang 2018.
It hoped a decision by the IWF in Lausanne over the previous two days would have allowed them to return early from suspension and compete in Indonesia.
China was one of nine nations suspended for a year last October for having three or more positives in the re-testing of samples from the Olympic Games at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
There were three Chinese positives in the re-tests, all gold medallists at Beijing 2008,.
The worst offenders, Kazakhstan and Russia, had 10 each.
The IWF has released a statement claiming its Independent Monitoring Group (IMG) will carry on with its work to monitor the nine nations’ compliance and to render corresponding decisions in respect of the conditional reinstatement of them.
Speaking here today after an OCA Executive Board meeting, director general Husain Al-Musallam revealed they will follow the IWF’s position.
"The IF (International Federation) had their meeting and they didn’t send us anything that we can allow the Chinese and the Kazakh athletes in weightlifting to come," he said.
"So we follow the requirement of the athletes from the International Federation."
To the surprise of other competing nations biographies of the 14-strong Chinese team appear on the official Asian Games website.
Al-Musallam claimedthis occurred because the OCA was "waiting on everything on standby".
The IWF has already allowed three of the nine suspended nations - Turkey, with three positives, Armenia, with four, and Azerbaijan, with five - to return early after they were deemed by an independent panel to have made "significant progress" in their anti-doping efforts.
Turkey was welcomed back in mid-June, and both Azerbaijan and Armenia can return to senior competition from tomorrow.
IMG members Kate Mittelstadt and Michael Ask met the representatives of eight of the nine suspended nations in Lausanne.
The Member Federations had the chance to explain their situation, to provide detailed information about their progress and to raise their questions to the IMG members in person.
Rival nations in the Asian Games had warned they would be surprised if China was allowed to return early, questioning whether the athletes had complied with "whereabouts" regulations for anti-doping testers.
The biggest names in the China team listed on the Asian Games website are three gold medallists from Rio 2016 - Shi Zhiyong in the men's 69 kilograms, Deng Wei in the women's 63kg and Meng Suping in the women's over-75kg.
Lyu Xiaojun, the men's 77kg champion at London 2012 who was a silver medallist at Rio 206, is also listed.
The 2018 Asian Games are set to begin today with the Opening Ceremony.
Weightlifting competition is scheduled to get underway on Monday (August 20).