As a Teenage Chinese Swimmer Strikes Double Gold, Doping Allegations Swirl

The big question is: Did China’s sensational double gold medalist dope?

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Toby Melville / Reuters

China's Ye Shiwen poses with her gold medal after winning the women's 200-m-individual-medley final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012

Now the real uproar will begin. On July 28, Ye Shiwen, a 16-year-old Chinese swimmer, shattered the world record in the 400-m individual medley by more than one second, the equivalent of an eon in an event where victories are usually measured in the briefest of intervals. Her blazing time was five seconds faster than her personal best. Then, three days later, on Tuesday night, Ye claimed gold in the 200-m individual medley, with a time of 2 min. 07.57 sec., an Olympic record.

So, the big question is: Did China’s sensational double-gold medalist dope?

At the victory ceremony on July 31, the timid teenager looked more overwhelmed than overjoyed as China’s March of the Volunteers played in the Aquatics Centre. Perhaps the sheltered swimmer knew what was to come. Later that evening, at a packed press conference, Ye reiterated that she had never doped, barely cracking a smile even though she had won gold less than two hours earlier. Nearly all the questions during the 20-minute press conference danced around the drug question. “I think it’s unfair,” she said, after a series of brief answers to pointed questions. “I feel like it’s a prejudice [against China]. Other people from other countries have won multiple gold medals, but they are not questioned.”

(MORE: Doping Suspicions About Gold-Medal Swimmer Trigger Angry Response in China)

Ye has never failed a drug test, and Chinese supporters grumbled about the drug suspicions swirling around the young swimmer. “We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing,” said Jiang Zhixue, a Chinese antidoping official, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. “I think it is not proper to single out Chinese swimmers once they produce good results.” Ye’s father, Ye Qingsong, was quoted by China’s Tencent website, defending his daughter. “I saw a lot of Western media expressing their doubts about her, but Western media have always been very arrogant,” he said. “They always doubt the Chinese people. The best answer is data, tests. The Chinese national swimming team has always been given ‘special’ care internationally. I remember sometimes they have to do six or seven tests. So I think as long as there is data and there are tests, we don’t need to say anything more.”

But China’s history is not inspiring when it comes to swimming and drugs. In the 1990s, the country’s swimmers came out of nowhere to break world records and grab golds. Just as predictably, the drug busts followed. In one particularly telling incident, Chinese swimmers captured 12 gold medals at the 1994 Asian Games. But a surprise drug test then caught seven of those Chinese swimmers. At the 1998 world championships, a Chinese swimmer was stopped at an Australian airport carrying vials of human growth hormone.

Past cheaters are held to a higher standard, as Ye’s father alluded. That’s fair. But there’s also no question that China has tried to clean up its act in the pool. Chinese swimmers have not been caught doping at a high-profile international competition in years. At the Beijing Olympics four years ago, the country’s swimmers passed all drug tests. Now that it’s a sporting powerhouse that captured the most gold medals of any nation at the Beijing Games, China must fear losing face by having any of its victories questioned. The antidoping campaign is so rigid in China that national-team athletes are forbidden to eat outside of official canteens. Why? Because Chinese meat is so tainted with additives like clenbuterol that athletes could test positive simply by chowing on stir-fried pork.

(PHOTOS: Olympic Highlights in Photographs)

A steady stream of Chinese athletes have gotten caught in domestically administered drug tests. Even though the central government seems committed to combating doping, it’s another story on the provincial level where local sports budgets depend on the performances of athletes during the hotly contested National Games. Each major domestic contest seems to bring another embarrassing drug bust; out-of-competition positives aren’t uncommon either. In March, another 16-year-old female swimmer, Li Zhesi, was busted for EPO, a blood-boosting agent. Li was part of a 4×100-m medley relay that won at the 2009 world championship and had been expected by some to compete in London.

Ye’s performance in London has been characterized in the West as a come-from-nowhere stunner. But that’s not accurate. At the Asian Games in 2010, she racked up the second fastest times of the year in the 200-m and 400-m individual medleys. In the world championships last year, Ye glided past the then world-record holder Ariana Kukors of the U.S., to claim first place in the 200-m individual medley.

She’s also at the age when the best swimmers commonly make huge breakthroughs. Ian Thorpe, for instance, also shaved five seconds off his personal best around the same age. Janet Evans, the American swimmer, was 17 years old at the 1988 Olympics when she won triple gold and broke a world record.

That didn’t stop U.S. coach John Leonard from casting doubts on Ye’s performance. But others rallied to her defense — or at least cautioned against pronouncing her guilty with no evidence. London 2012 organizer Sebastian Coe told ITV News that it would be “very unfair to judge an athlete by a sudden breakthrough.”

In 2002, China began pouring resources into its swimming program, through the high-profile Project 119, which targeted medals in Olympic sports in which China had yet to dominate. Those events included track and field, rowing, and swimming. Money was lavished on these disciplines. The nation’s thousands of state-sponsored sports academies focused their efforts on cultivating talent in disciplines beyond traditional Chinese mainstays, such as diving and table tennis. The effort began to pay off at the Beijing Games, when a nearly unknown 19-year-old Chinese swimmer named Liu Zige captured gold in the 200-m butterfly with a world-record-breaking performance. In 2011, China clocked six of the fastest results of the year in various swimming races.

(MORE: China’s Gold Standard)

Then came the medal rush in London. The same night that Ye won her gold on Tuesday, the Chinese men captured bronze in the 4×200-m freestyle relay. Three nights before, Sun Yang became the first Chinese man to win gold in the pool, when he powered to a new Olympic record in the 400-m freestyle. He also won a silver in the 200-m freestyle on Monday.

Ye, who was picked for swimming when her kindergarten teacher noticed her large hands and feet, is part of this new generation of Project 119 swimmers. Her parents were happy to have her pursue the sport. They liked to go boating on the lake in Hangzhou, the pleasant eastern Chinese city where Ye grew up, and knowing how to swim would keep their daughter safe.

It’s possible that China’s swimmers could be amped up on some agent for which there is no test available yet. After all, antidoping efforts are often one — or 10 —  steps behind scientific advances. But if that’s the case, then it’s also conceivable that swimmers from other nations are drugging too. Doping is hardly the unique domain of Chinese athletes. The list of Western Olympians who eventually have been caught doping — Marion Jones, Michelle Smith, a brace of American cyclists, to name just a few — is long.

But here’s the difference: Western athletes make an individual choice to subject their bodies to the dangers of performance-enhancing agents. In sports systems like those of China or East Germany, the decision to dope is made by the state. Athletes sometimes have no idea that the supplements they thought were simply herbs or vitamins are illegal substances. Take the case of Zou Chunlan, a former weight-lifting national champion. During her years as a lifter in the 1980s and ’90s, Zou was given mysterious pills that, it turned out, flooded her system with male hormones. She grew a beard. Today, she is unable to bear children. She told Chinese media she had no idea what it was she was taking at the coaches’ behest. “Everything is for the gold medals,” she told TIME, of the Chinese sports system. “I think that’s still the same today.”

(PHOTOS: The Gold Standard: James Nachtwey Photographs China’s Female Weight Lifters)

And here’s one last anecdote that, in its very ambiguity, proves the difficulties the Chinese sports system faces in earning the world’s trust. In June, when I was reporting a story on China’s national weight-lifting team, I asked the head coach whom I should focus on as a future Olympian. Immediately, he suggested Tian Yuan, a 19-year-old lifter in the 48-kg weight class. The advice seemed sound. Tian had recently broken the world record by more than 5 kg. But I couldn’t help but notice that she looked different from all her teammates. While they — even the ones in the larger weight classes — looked feminine, with body curves and rounded faces, Tian had a cut jaw and a high hairline. Her hands, with their prominent knuckles and veins, looked like miniature versions of men’s hands. Most noticeable was her voice, a raspy timber that had she called me on the phone I would have mistaken for a man’s.

Tian never made it to the Olympics. The July morning when China’s Olympic weight-lifting roster was announced, her name was there. But the early evening brought a dramatic announcement. The world-record holder had been booted from the team. On Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, Tian released an anguished note: “I feel very shocked. I don’t know what the reason is … I passed all antidoping tests. I am perfectly fine. I don’t understand why I can’t take part in the Olympics. I feel very sad.” Shortly after the decision, national team coach Xu Jingfa said by telephone that the last-minute change was due to complicated provincial politics. The next morning, a national weight-lifting press official told TIME that Tian was injured and that was why she wasn’t going to London. But a later call to her coach resulted in contradictory information. Tian wasn’t in the least bit injured, he said.

I have no proof that Tian was doping. There are women who look more manly, like Caster Semenya of South Africa, who, after months out of competition because of a controversy over her sex, was cleared for the London Olympics. Chinese journalists have found childhood photographs of Tian, and she certainly looked more feminine then than she does now. Whatever the truth, the Chinese Internet public has speculated widely that drugs were at the root of Tian’s last-minute cut from the Olympic team.

In some ways, you could argue that the Chinese system prevailed, that if she was doping, the country’s sports officials were making sure she wouldn’t participate in London. But the other lesson to draw from Tian’s case is that opacity still cloaks Chinese sports. And until those shadows are cast away, people, unfairly or not, are going to ask questions. If 16-year-old swimmer Ye is clean, it’s tragic that her moment of victory has been fouled by the taint of drugs. But the very Chinese system that made this remarkable young swimmer also laid the ground for doping allegations to flourish. Let the debate rage on.

MORE: How to Follow the Live-Streamed, Twitter-Friendly ‘Smart Olympics’

68 comments
KerryWong
KerryWong

Later that evening, at a packed press conference, Ye reiterated that she had never doped, barely cracking a smile even though she had won gold less than two hours earlier. ”  

if  that person shattered the record and won the gold  was you, sat before the  so many reporters from all over the world and facing doubts without evidence but not the congratulations , can you broke a laugh?  That'll be a laugh.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

I teach computer science at Virginia Tech, one of the nations most

prestigious engineeering and technology universities.  We have a large

student body, comparatively speaking, of Asian men and women.  Many of

them are and have been my students, over a period of nearly 30 years.

I have no idea whether this particular olympic athlete has been "doping" -- and frankly I don't care.  What I do know is that the comments made by Danlunche and Joe Joesph [sic] are inappropriate, inaccurate, and entirely untrue.

I have NEVER had a cheating incident involving an Asian student, of any nationality -- and I make a habit of looking for cheats, even keeping computer audit trails for each student who uses the university computing system.  The Asian's I have had have been not only honorable, but they have exhibited an unusually clear sense of "group" ethic within their classes, understanding that in our particular discipline one shares information and results, rather than hoarding it and leading secretive academic careers.  They are studious, perceptive, persistent, and rarely take failure lying down -- instead, learning from their

mistakes and moving forward.

Danlunche and Joe Joesph [sic] are racists and liars, spreading hate and fear, and I call them out for what they are.  Racism is one of the ugliest of human occupations.

NStat
NStat

they cheat, like every other nationality, iv seen it many times, just because you havnt caught them, doesnt mean it doesnt happen

danlunche
danlunche

My students in class are notorious cheaters. All they think about is playing sports and games on their cell phones. What they should really be concerned about is studying and passing their exams and getting good jobs so they can support their huge extended families and so they can buy a house and car and attract a husband or wife and provide for their one child - not worry about a useless race that will in no way contribute to their quality of life.

Christopher Chan
Christopher Chan

Joe Joseph: Western concept of Fair play? you mean sending predator drones to middle east instead of solders? I guess self deception is universal.

Some Americans are sore losers... look at those still hoping to reclaim the north! lol

mattbm
mattbm

Byst1nder, his point was that it is quite hypocritical for the US to become high and mighty about fair play in sports. Take a look at the MLB, the NFL, Marion Jones and Co., etc. 

Byst1nder
Byst1nder

I was reading a sports related article and saw your comments indicating predator drones? Relevance of Fair play is always irrelevant when you are talking about war or conflict.

Fairness in War stopped when different cultures and nations started inventing tools and tactics of war to have an edge.

Eddie1111
Eddie1111

To be fair, Tian, this is not an assault on Asians. It is diatribe on suspicions about a Chinese athlete. Yes, China is part of Asia, but that does not make your assertion correct. In addition, a Chinese doctor (Zhanghoa) recently levied similar accusations against Phelps (see the Guardian, 1 August 2012).

A second point that invites suspicion is several points of historical fall out from the Cold War era. When the wall came down in Germany, forays into former East Germany found massive amounts of written records regarding the E German doping program. As East Germany crumbled, where did their coaches go? China, Cuba, North Korea. This has been well documented over the last few decades.

To this end, China invites suspicion not only due to this, but also to other behaviors.

What behaviors? Personally knowing coaches from various countries all around the world it is no secret that in preparation for Beijing, these same coaches had to smuggle in their own pollution monitors as the Chinese government would not give them accurate pollution indices, basically lying to make it seem the air was massively cleaner than it was.

Again, China invites suspicion.

The birth certificate issue with last minute proof?

Suspicion.

High poverty prevalence with workers making so little money and larger amount of money spent on the China Olympics (Estimated $50 billion vs. $24 billion (I think but could be wrong) just to impress the world?

Suspicion.

To reduce the Beijing pollution? Shut down industry and stop travel by cars, all to “save face” and promote itself in front of the world, despite putting people out of work to look better.

Suspicion.

China’s basic practice regarding human rights?

Suspicion.

“Free speech via Internet and other communication suppression to the outside world?

Suspicion.

So get over yourself and your racist belief that criticism over a person from China is a criticism against all Asians. You’re comments are really rather pathetic.

Now, more to the point. Unfortunately, with good performances at the Olympics, especially ones that set world records, always come with suspicion. Contrary to popular belief, we are very close to the limits of human performance, which is also very unfriendly to fans and sponsors. The public wants to see records, so do sponsors because that is what “sells sport.” This naturally raises expectations on the athletes, who if they don’t provide these records lose sponsorship dollars, etc. It’s a fatal cycle and the temptation to dope is HUGE!

In further point of fact, sport in general is rife with doping throughout the world. Pick a sport, nation, race, etc. It’s there.

The question one needs to ask is whether they really want to clean up sport. If the answer is yes, then you must also be prepared to see performance levels drop. Runners and swimmers will be slower, throws will not go as far, fan appeal will wane, sponsors will withdraw money, and the cycle continues.

This, however, is not an endorsement for doping. Instead it is a reality that an audience must be willing to except.

At the end of the day, however, the people who have to suffer the arrows of criticism are young athletes who only want to compete and do well. Though you would think doping, if it is present in a sport, would be easily seen. However, as with East Germany, young impressionable athletes were lied to when their coaches said the drugs they were getting were vitamins, when they were actually drugs.

Though the system is imperfect, let the athletes enjoy their victories until proof is at hand to the contrary. Oh, that’s right, silly me…we live in the information age where trials and the establishment of guilt or innocence takes place by tweet. (Witness, Lance Armstrong’s on going problems with doping accusations)

Sorry, I love the Olympics and all that it stands for. But it is a multi-billion dollar industry, with huge problems and pitfalls. One of which is doping that takes place in many countries, some of whom may be Asian.

To be fair, Tian, this is not an assault on Asians. It is diatribe on

suspicions about a Chinese athlete. Yes, China is part of Asia, but that does

not make your assertion correct. In addition, a Chinese doctor (Zhanghoa)

recently levied similar accusations against Phelps (see the Guardian, 1 August

2012).

 

A second point that invites suspicion is several points of historical

fall out from the Cold War era. When the wall came down in Germany, forays into

former East Germany found massive amounts of written records regarding the E

German doping program. As East Germany crumbled, where did their coaches go?

China, Cuba, North Korea. This has been well documented over the last few

decades.

 

To this end, China invites suspicion not only due to this, but also to other

behaviors.

 

What behaviors? Personally knowing coaches from various countries all

around the world it is no secret that in preparation for Beijing, these same

coaches had to smuggle in their own pollution monitors as the Chinese

government would not give them accurate pollution indices, basically lying to

make it seem the air was massively cleaner than it was.

 

Again, China invites suspicion.

 

The birth certificate issue with last minute proof?

Suspicion.

 

High poverty prevalence with workers making so little money and larger

amount of money spent on the China Olympics (Estimated $50 billion vs. $24

billion (I think but could be wrong) just to impress the world?

 

Suspicion.

 

To reduce the Beijing pollution? Shut down industry and stop travel by

cars, all to “save face” and promote itself in front of the world, despite

putting people out of work to look better.

 

Suspicion.

 

China’s basic practice regarding human rights?

 

Suspicion.

 

“Free speech via Internet and other communication suppression to the

outside world?

 

Suspicion.

 

So get over yourself and your racist belief that criticism over a person

from China is a criticism against all Asians. You’re comments are really rather

pathetic.

 

Now, more to the point. Unfortunately, with good performances at the

Olympics, especially ones that set world records, always come with suspicion.

Contrary to popular belief, we are very close to the limits of human

performance, which is also very unfriendly to fans and sponsors. The public

wants to see records, so do sponsors because that is what “sells sport.” This

naturally raises expectations on the athletes, who if they don’t provide these

records lose sponsorship dollars, etc. It’s a fatal cycle and the temptation to

dope is HUGE!

 

In further point of fact, sport in general is rife with doping

throughout the world. Pick a sport, nation, race, etc. It’s there.

The question one needs to ask is whether they really want to clean up

sport. If the answer is yes, then you must also be prepared to see performance

levels drop. Runners and swimmers will be slower, throws will not go as far,

fan appeal will wane, sponsors will withdraw money, and the cycle continues.

 

This, however, is not an endorsement for doping. Instead it is a reality

that an audience must be willing to except.

 

At the end of the day, however, the people

who have to suffer the arrows of criticism are young athletes who only want to

compete and do well. Though you would think doping, if it is present in a

sport, would be easily seen. However, as with East Germany, young

impressionable athletes were lied to when their coaches said the drugs they

were getting were vitamins, when they were actually drugs.

 

Though the system is imperfect, let the

athletes enjoy their victories until proof is at hand to the contrary. Oh,

that’s right, silly me…we live in the information age where trials and the

establishment of guilt or innocence takes place by tweet. (Witness, Lance

Armstrong’s on going problems with doping accusations)

 

Sorry, I love the Olympics and all that it

stands for. But it is a multi-billion dollar industry, with huge problems and

pitfalls. One of which is doping that takes place in many countries, some of

which may be Asian.

Chris Dukes
Chris Dukes

I don't understand the debate here.  This is simple physics.  It's the same reason the genders are separated in identical events.  It "should be" physically impossible for a female swimmer to surpass a male swimmer at this level of competition in the same event.  It just does'nt make mathmatical sense.  Purely from this perspective it's reason for investigation.  There might be some bias from the past but, even if there was'nt, this would have caused uproar in the media for doping allegations.

markreymund23
markreymund23

Doping is rampant in China. Ye is a victim of their state sponsored doping program in the past. There is a "benefit of doubt".

Joe Joesph
Joe Joesph

Asians in general, but the Chinese especially, are notorious Cheaters. They don't have our "Western" conception of fair play. In college, every Asian I knew cheated with one another since it wasn't the "learning experience" but the grade that mattered. So continue to think that they work harder than you and are smarter. If that makes you feel better when they take you job, well a happy dope to you! You dopes continue to live in your diminishing, generally white, middle class bubble. Another thing that most of you ignorantti probably don't know...Asian metabolism makes it PROFOUNDLY difficult to detect steroids and other enhancements. Something like only 5% of Asians are even ABLE to test positive for doping. The alternative tests are not much better and are easily circumvented. As the article indicts, the only reason why some were even caught was because of the complete surprise coupled with catching them "early" before their body  excreted all the tell tale chemical marker byproducts while using more advanced techniques of detection (undoubtedly the Chinese have learned to circumvent those by now too). 

Sorry but at the world class level shaving tenths of a second is considered an accomplishment. 5 seconds within a year and, more suspiciously, competing at a MALE level of accomplishment is supremely unusual. Imagine a female sprinter equaling the time of the male winner. UNHEARD OF. That coupled with the cheating history of China and it is perfectly REASONABLE to ask the question and thoroughly investigate. Chinese brought it on themselves. Oh, one last thing that for me PROVES that she is doping. Her father's argument regarding Phelps. That is PRECISELY how the guilty argue. If they were truly innocent, a person relies on their own good nature and rolls with the blows. To immediately speak like a lawyer or a Jew regarding Israeli war crimes, shows their guilt. Only the guilty, criminals think like this. 

stfusa
stfusa

Off your meds again!

hhead
hhead

You are another one of those typical whinny bitching sore losers. Just because the asians did better in school than you meant they all cheated? What a moron! You got your jobs taken because you partied too hard, busy smoking pot and getting laid in college instead of studying hard.  

All the most advanced designer steroids are invented in the US and they certainly know how to circumvent the testing systems. Just look at all the football, baseball players. Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, Marion Jones.. you name it. So this history of cheating must mean all American athletes are doping? Your logic makes no sense. And this phrase "you are cheating only if you get caught" is invented in America too. So this must be the western concept of "Fair Play" you mentioned? That statement about asians being harder to be tested for drugs is big fat lie and you know it. 

Others have already quoted that another western female swimmer shaved 10 secs in a year off her record when she was 20.  Ian Thorpe also improved 5 secs in his teens. Again, your statement only proved your ignorance. Also, Lochte is a medley swimmer and his freestyle sucks. That's why he lost in the freestyle races. Comparing Ye's best style with Lochte's weakest and declaring that Ye's performance is impossible makes no sense. 

And finally, your last paragraph is so stupid. Someone calls your mom a whore and you respond by calling his mom a whore. Then that proved your mom must be a whore just because you have this "what about you?" reaction? What a joke. 

alexshi
alexshi

Japanese already won some medals and maybe more is coming, and even Taiwaness's chance is promising , but Vietnamese's chance to get into any final games is bleak, let along medals, so nobody is going to make stink about the so-called achievement by Vietnamese athletes...

SweetAsBro
SweetAsBro

Time will tell..... When she first won gold she hardly had any emotions which made me think she was damaged goods form being pushed all her life to swim or feeling guilty about something.......BUT  I HOPE SHE IS CLEAN AND CONTINUES TO BREAK RECORDS..

Nana Li
Nana Li

The doping. Hmmmmm............right. I can see how the american gets really sour now. so, you are the only one who can have talents, you are the only super power in the world.

I wonder if you asked the same question when Michael Phelps broke the record 4 years ago or why Ryan Lochte is faster than MP this time? of course you didn't ask, cause they are Americans. 

This is not an attack to a country, but a quote from the newsroom should put the USA in perspective. 

" There’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy. Twenty-seventh in math. Twenty-second in science. Forty-ninth in life expectancy. A hundred and seventy-eighth in infant mortality. Third in median household income. Number four in labor force and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies." --- The newsroom.

Ben Huang
Ben Huang

1. The Newsroom IS A TV SHOW. A SHOW. Meaning made up and for entertainment. 

2. I can find a similar quote extolling the grandeur of the "People's" "Republic" of China.

hhead
hhead

Which part of that newsroom quote was fabricated? 

Dawn9476
Dawn9476

After Bob Costas metioned Tuesday night in the broadcast  about how at the same age, Michael Phelps was  smashing records and shaving several seconds off his times, I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that her being so young is what is making her very fast. The fact that she is also now swimming in the new fastest pool in the world also helps.

TheSteelGeneral
TheSteelGeneral

Arguments Pro Ye

1. she's in the age range of huge leaps

2. She's been selected from a HUMONGOUS gene pool

3. She's done it before, at world championships, she already world records BEFORE the games

4. Western media have a hypcritical, bigoted, even racist take of China.

5. If this part of the article is true, there hasn't been a doping incident in Chinese for years.

Arguments contra Ye:

Loads of stuff that OTHER people did.

 

Ivan
Ivan

For Tibetans, the suicides of their nuns, monks and fellow compatriots are not in vain. They are a rallying cry, literally and symbolically, for independence, freedom and cultural survival.... For every gold medal that China wins....thousand of repressed souls die in areas illegally occupied by her

I-Chen Yeh
I-Chen Yeh

我都不曉得美國人何時開始這麼不科學了.不然檢驗是檢驗開心的啊?  怎麼不檢討檢驗是不是有問題呢?

TheSteelGeneral
TheSteelGeneral

This author is biased, he wrote a very unbalanced article. It still insinuates that it's possible she doped up. This  is unfair, since SHE PASSED EVERY TEST!

It's really unconscionable that the press, especially organisations like Time and the BBC take part in this witch hunt of a swimmer  who had BEEN PROVEN CLEAN!

Stephanie Rice improved her PB by 10 (TEN!!) seconds in ONE year, at a much later age, from age 19 -20 (10 seconds per year)

Ye, improved her PB by 5 (FIVE!!) seconds in TWO year, at a much later age, from age 14 -16 (2,5 seconds per year)

Oddly, Rice was never ever questioned by global media outlets like the BBC or Time.

Even more odd, a FIFTEEN year old Lithuanian that actually WAS a complete unknown, catapulted  into a gold medal slot, but NO-ONE has questioned that one! Reason: She's been British trained, and the Brits desparately want credit for that, lacking a gold medal

So, no, the big question seems to be if the basesless and unwaranted attacks are caused by  blatant racism, lingering surpressed anger over the Boxerwar, sheer misogynism on the part of the Americans or fear over loss of influence of the West to China? Or .... all of the above? Whiney sore-loserism?

PS.

I say "he" when referring to the author because all this hatred seems to be more male than female, and in the past, the Times have employed more male writers than female, so it's very likely that the author is male, despite the name "Hannah". Let me remind you, "Hannah" was the name of the male artist who created the cartoon "Yogi Bear", so .... is the author of this crap article male, or female? Let the debate rage on!

hhead
hhead

Lochte is a medley swimmer and his freestyle sucks. That's why he lost in the freestyle races. Comparing Ye's best style with Lochte's weakest and declaring that Ye's performance is impossible? This US coach should have focused on his own team. He really is a disgrace. 

As for this article, its just from a typical hypocritical racist white trash.  What a load of crap.  She had to ruin possibly the best moment of the 16 yr-old's life. What a beech.

Shuami
Shuami

Yeah, agree with you--what a Beech!

I hope one day someone will do this to her son.

hhead
hhead

What a load of crap. Typical hypocritical racist white trash. 

What a beech. 

Mike Cao
Mike Cao

Your report made the great American look so small!

ArrowAssault
ArrowAssault

I think the point is that Ye may indeed be innocent, while her government sponsor may not. Her performance is indicative of some type of blood-oxygen supplement, as it falls well outside normal margins for any of the top swimmers. What needs to be examined and explained is how she was able to keep pace for 300m and then essentially swim the final 100m as if she had just started the race from that point, such that she was able to pull from behind and even catch up to and pass the previous 'super suit' record by a significant margin. The truth may not be known for a long time, but I feel that many top athletes likely use some type of  'performance enhancer' during training, if not competition. And I include all athletes, not just China... Ye is simply the most recent and obvious example.

rrgoos
rrgoos

People you are missing the point. It's not that she broke or smashed a record, nor is it, despite a rap sheet as long or longer than East Germany ever accumulated because she's Chinese. It was her split. Which, wait for it...... d..o..e..s......n..o..t.....h..a..p..p..e..n! And so, so sorry to bust the western media bashing party here but if Missy Franklin had so much as flirted with her male counterparts split she would be answering an awful lot of questions about doping too.

Mike Cao
Mike Cao

Why you don't question Michael Phelps and his Gold medals. There were American athletes using the dopings before. Michael Phelps has more than 19 and the Chinese girl had only 2. Your pure speculation has made you a speculator, not a journalist.

As a journalist, you have to right to report the facts, not speculations, again and again.

It is shameful and it only shows that you can not accept the truth. Remember a true journalist reports the facts, not speculations! You should go back to journalism 101 and rethink if you are capable of being a journalist.

Ben Huang
Ben Huang

You idiot. Did you not read? The controversy isn't that she won Gold. The controversy is over her splits. Maybe take a good look at the state of the Chinese media today. It's an absolute joke with censorship and propaganda.

happydayfortennis
happydayfortennis

The Chinese media is downright horrible compared to the American media. But that doesn't mean the latter is perfect. We should hold our own media to a higher standard than that of other countries, if we want to believe in American exceptionalism. 

missindependence
missindependence

Let us not forget that in the Bejing games, China was caught falsifying birth records so that girls who were not old enough to compete were able to compete.  They cheat at commerce, trade, and copyright infringement.  Why should we be surprised that they may have doped an unwitting athlete? 

lyanlu
lyanlu

what are you trying to say? Are you so smart to judge from all those other cases that Ye dopped?can I say Japs raded Harbour Pearl and Japs shall be the suspect for 911?  How brilliant logic! Shame………………great shame.

Mike Cao
Mike Cao

Let us not forget that Canada had the biggest Doping incident before. Did you question the athelets from Canada? Remember fact is fact, your speculation is as good as a speculation, and it is worthless and shameful.

hhead
hhead

Like the American don't cheat? All the designer steroids are invented in the good ole US of A. And how about the American phrase "You are cheating, only if you get caught?". Do Enron, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers etc ring your bell?  So it must be fair to declare all American athletes cheat? You are full of crap.

Bob Bigellow
Bob Bigellow

Personally, I'd be honored if people instantly started thinking I could only have been doping. That would say to me that if people are so amazed by my accomplishments that they think it could only be possible artificially, then it would truly say to me just how great of an accomplishment I truly achieved. It would be no different if people started questioning whether I was from a different planet of superhumans. It's an honor, not a disgrace.

happydayfortennis
happydayfortennis

Maybe she is doping - I don't know for sure, and neither does the media at the moment. But that would only explain this particular incident, and not the very recent, inexplicable rise in Chinese dominance in athleticism.  The only sport I follow closely is tennis, and the number of truly world-class Chinese tennis players has increased from around zero to at least three in recent years, which is huge considering even America has been having trouble producing any world-class tennis players in the past few years or so. Professional tennis has extremely strict rules regarding performance-enhancing drugs, so at least those three athletes are definitely not doping (though, of course, that doesn't automatically mean other Chinese athletes aren't).

Instead of rushing to judgment on this issue, the media could try to identify the causes behind China's eleven other gold medals, which probably have more to do with how the government identifies potential talent and can afford to spend huge amounts on star athletes' training than doping.

stfusa
stfusa

Agree...Only a western nation can 'progress' and 'invest' in all aspects of development including sports..... But if any other non-western nation progressses and achives results, it is suspect, criminal ,evil....

A Roger Federer can train from the age of 3 and as a result eventually become the dominant athlete in the tennis world.... But a Lee, or Wong who trains from a similar age and achieves dominant results is a suspect, cheater and what not!

The American empire is in true decline and your comments has crystallized it for all of us to understand!

Ben Huang
Ben Huang

You are wrong about tennis. So many players have lived and trained in the US from a young age. Just look at Sharapova. She competes for Russia but she's basically American. 

tewudros
tewudros

 It is hard [willingly or not] not to be  ''Basically American'' seen the amount of media that comes out of the USA

tewudros
tewudros

America's cultural plan is to make the whole world american.

happydayfortennis
happydayfortennis

You are right about Sharapova, and I'm sure we can name several American rising stars since she's been around (Isner, Querrey, Oudin if you're generous). But I think it's safe to say America has slowly lost its dominance in world tennis, whereas China has gone from zero presence to at least a decent showing, along with many of the European countries.

Nevertheless, my favorite tennis players are still Roddick, Sharapova, and Serena.

Vukodlok
Vukodlok

So what if she did, are you seriously going to tell me the U.S. and everyone esle is not doing the same thing? And yes that means Michael Phelps too!


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