Reports of Chinese swimmers failing drug tests at the Tokyo Olympics could change the medals in up to six swimming events. Photo Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports Jul 29, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; China relay team poses with their gold medals during the medals ceremony for the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Three years after the Tokyo Summer Olympics, positive drug tests might be altering who the medalists are and what medals they won in multiple swimming events.

Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated reported on Friday night potential positive drug tests from Chinese swimmers might alter the medals earned in those Olympics.

“Some American Olympic swimmers from the Tokyo Games have been alerted to alleged Chinese positive drug tests that could alter the outcomes of multiple races and change medal distribution,” Forde tweeted on Friday night.

“China won six swimming medals in Tokyo — three gold, two silver, one bronze,” he said in a follow-up tweet. “Gold medals were in women’s 800 freestyle relay, women’s 200 butterfly and men’s 200 IM. Silver in women’s 100 fly and mixed medley relay. Bronze in women’s 400 free. I don’t know how many of those were allegedly affected, but more than one for sure.”

One can only speculate on the events. In three of the six events in question, American swimmers would be positioned to earn a medal or better medal with a disqualification. In two cases, it would be a gold medal.

The Chinese team won the women’s 800 freestyle relay with a World Record time (since broken) of 7:40.33. Allison Schmitt, Paige Madden, Katie McLaughlin and Katie Ledecky finished in second place with a time of 7:40.73 to earn the silver medal. China’s Dong Jie and Zhang Yifan as well as Americans Brooke Forde and Bella Sims also earned medals for their roles in the qualifying heats.

Chinese swimmer Zhang Yufei took gold in the women’s 200 butterfly. Americans Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger finished second and third, respectively, in that race.

Yufei earned a silver medal in the women’s 100 butterfly, as well. American Torri Huske finished fourth in that race.

Other medals won by China in Tokyo were Wang Shun (gold, men’s 200 individual medley), Xu Jiayu, Yan Zibei, Zhang Yufei, Yang Junxuan (silver, mixed 4×100 medley) and Li Bingjie (bronze, women’s 400 freestyle).

[Pat Forde on Twitter/X]

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