JINAN, Shandong province: Wang Jing, who won the women's 100m title on Thursday, faces a lifetime ban after testing positive for illegal substances at the National Games.
Her coach, Chen Hua, could also be banned for life, senior athletics officials announced yesterday.
Wang has accepted the results but stated she did not know how the drugs got into her system.
"According to our anti-doping rules, we have decided to ban Wang and her coach for life. However, Wang has the right to appeal this decision and she can also ask for a check of her 'B' sample," said Shen Chunde, vice director of the Chinese Athletics Administration Center.
Wang, from southeastern Fujian province, tested positive for epitestosterone and testosterone after winning the 100m final. Her medal has been stripped and she was barred from the 200m final on Sunday night; before the official announcement of her positive test was made. She finished second in her 200m heat.
Jiang Lan, from Jiangsu, who finished second in the women's 100m, was awarded the gold medal. Jiang's teammate Chen Jue and Jiangxi's Tao Yujia, who finished third and fourth, moved up to the silver and bronze medals.
Before the opening of the Shandong Games, all track and field athletes were required to pass a written exam about the fight against doping and authorities vowed to impose strict punishment on those who failed doping tests - including life bans. Normally, such offenses lead to a two-year ban.
"The life ban is a very severe punishment for athletes. We hoped it would make those who are willing to cheat think again," said Zhang.
Wang's samples were sent back to Beijing for tests after the 100m final and the results were reported to the organizing committee on Sunday night.
"The administrative center has taken a series of serious anti-doping measures at the National Games but they have not stopped some offenders. Some athletes are still playing with fire," said Zhang Yongliang, director of the competition department at the center.
Wang, 21, is considered among China's brightest women's sprint prospects. She finished fourth at the 2006 Junior World Championships in the 200m and was a key component of the 4x100m relay team which claimed gold at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
At last year's Beijing Games, Wang reached the second round of the 100m.
The young runner Monday denied taking any drugs deliberately and asked for further investigation into the case, although she accepted the 'A' sample result and given up the right a further test on her 'B' sample .
"I have never taken any drugs willingly in my life and I have never accepted any drugs from anybody," Wang told Xinhua.
"I regret the result which surely has a negative effect on the National Games but I strongly ask the relative departments to investigate the whole case and tell everybody why my sample tested positive," Wang said.
According to an official within the Fujian delegation, Wang had been training with the national team since the Shanghai Grand Prix in September before arriving in Shandong for the Games on Oct 18, when she passed an out-of-competition doping test.
"The whole Fujian delegation is sad and astonished by Wang's case and cannot find a rational explanation for why such a top sprinter had to take drugs," the delegation said in a statement.
"The delegation always pays attention to anti-doping education. But the fact remains that Wang, deliberately or not, didn't take effective measures to keep away from drugs and she has to take the responsibility," the statement said.
It is one of the biggest doping cases in China athletics in recent years.
At the last National Games, star marathoner Sun Yingjie became the highest profile casualty when she tested positive for the banned steroid androsterone after taking silver in the women's 10,000m race in 2005.
She won a court case in December of that year against a runner she accused of spiking her drink with the substance but still copped a two-year ban.
Her coach, Wang Dexian, received a life ban for a second violation of anti-doping rules.
Wang's doping case is the third at the Games in Shandong. Guo Linna, a rower from Henan province, and Li Jie, a shooter from Inner Mongolia, were also found to haven taken banned substances.
They were both kicked out of the event.
Guo will be banned for four years, the Chinese Rowing Association announced Monday.
The 21-year-old will also be banned from the next Chinese National Games and also the Cities Games as well as being fined 15,000 yuan ($2,200).
The woman rower was found positive for 19-norandrostenedione in an out-of-competition test on Oct 12.
Guo's coach, Zhang Hui, who has been implicated in two positive cases, has been disqualified as a coach for life. The first case happened in 2001 when female rower Zhou Xinrong from Henan, tested positive and was disqualified from the ninth Chinese National Games. Zhang was also fined 15,000 yuan. At the same time, the Henan Rowing Association was given a warning.