The Chinese Weightlifting Association (CWA) expressed "regret" on Sunday over the decision by weightlifting's world governing body to suspend all Chinese weightlifters from international competition for one year.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) announced on Friday to suspend nine member federations _ namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, for one year after reanalyzed drugs tests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics returned at least three positive results each.
"The CWA understands that the IWF made the decision for the sake of weightlifting's development. In the meantime, we feel regretful for the harm brought by the decision to innocent athletes," the CWA said in a statement.
The three athletes who were found guilty of doping in re-testing will be severely punished, the CWA added.
The CWA also reiterated the country's zero-tolerance stance on doping.
"China has been firmly against doping and has a zero-tolerance approach to this particular problem," the CWA said in the statement.
According to the CWA, 5261 tests were conducted on Chinese weightlifters between 2013 and 2016, while only 23 returned positive results.