Taiwan baseball player fails doping test ahead of first game

Taipei  - Taiwan's baseball team will suffer in its first game at the Beijing Olympics on Wednesday after one player was barred for failing a doping test, media reports said.

Chang Tai-shan, a key pitcher on the Chinese-Taipei team, has tested positive for a banned substance in a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) check, the Central News Agency (CNA) said Wednesday.

Sample A of Chang's urine sample tested positive for a banned substance, so he cannot attend the team's starting baseball game at the Beijing Olympics, between Taiwan and the Netherlands.

The Chinese-Taipei Baseball Association has applied to WADA to test sample B of Chang's urine sample. If the result is negative, he can join the games later, CNA quoted Lin Tzung-cheng, secretary general of the association, as saying.

If Taiwan beat the Netherlands on Wednesday, it will boost morale ahead of a Thursday game against Japan, bronze medalists from Athens.

Eight baseball teams have qualified for the August 8-24 Beijing Olympics. They come from Canada, China, Cuba, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

If Chang fails the doping test, he will be the only athlete of Taiwan's 80-member Olympic team, to do so in Beijing.

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Taiwan won two gold, two silver and one bronze. As of Tuesday, Taiwan players have won two bronze medals. (dpa)

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