Judo champ's doping ban overturned

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Olympic judo gold medalist Tong Wen won her appeal Wednesday against a two-year ban for a positive clenbuterol test and was reinstated as world champion.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the suspension imposed by the International Judo Federation, citing a "procedural failure" in the laboratory tests.

"Tong's results at the 2009 World Championships are reinstated, she is to retain the gold medal won at those championships and she is to be reinstated to sports participation with immediate effect," the court said in a statement.

Tong tested positive for the muscle-building, fat-burning drug after winning the over 78-kilogram category at the August 2009 worlds held in Rotterdam.

The governing body ordered tests on her backup "B" sample -- which also had clenbuterol traces -- without telling her or giving her the chance to attend the tests at the World Anti-Doping Agency lab in Cologne, Germany.

The CAS panel of three lawyers "recognized that the right of the athlete to be present applies whenever the 'B' sample is analyzed, irrespective of who asks for it."

CAS said "no doping violation has been established" because the unofficial "B" test was not a valid confirmation of the original finding of clenbuterol.

Tong initially asked for her backup sample to be tested but withdrew her request "following the advice of the Chinese Judo Association," the court said.

The judo federation ordered the tests in November 2009, and suspended her five months later.

Tong's ban denied her the chance to seek a third straight title at the Asian Games held at Guangzhou in her native China in November.

The 28-year-old judoka's victory in Rotterdam was her fourth straight world title. She won heavyweight gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The CAS decision makes Tong eligible to defend her title at the 2012 London Games.

Under IOC rules, any athlete receiving a doping ban of six months or more is automatically banned from the next Olympics.