China's anti-doping agency says eight athletes have been caught using performance-enhancing drugs in the run-up to the country's key national sports competition.
The athletes represented a variety of sports and were split evenly between men and women. They included one caught via the biological passport program that monitors an athlete's blood profile over time to detect signs of doping.
The new cases detected in the second quarter of the year bring the 2013 total to 12, equal to the number of doping cases found in the whole of last year.
The official Xinhua News Agency quoted China Anti-Doping Agency chief He Zhenwen as saying the large number of second-quarter cases was likely a result of the coming of the prestigious national games that kick off Aug. 31.