Chinese Olympic Swimmer Ye Shiwen Accused of Using Drugs
Olympic and anti-drug chiefs have intervened in accusations that Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen has been using drugs to enhance her performance. The 16-year-old had a record-breaking performance in the 400m individual medley - shaving five seconds off her best time and more than one second off the world record. Her final 50m was finished in 28.93 seconds, which made her 0.17 seconds faster than American swimmer Ryan Lochte, who won the men’s 400m individual medley earlier that evening.
US World Swimming Coaches Association executive director John Leonard said Ye’s performance was disturbing and suspicious. He branded it unbelievable, while the previous world record holder, Steph Rice, called it insanely fast. These comments sparked rumours that the schoolgirl had taken performance-enhancing drugs.
Ye has denied doping, saying her performance was the result of training and hard work. China has also reacted in anger to the accusations, while Olympic officials and other athletes have hit back at the claims with insistence that any competitor should be considered innocent until proven guilty. In addition to this, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced that the Chinese swimmer has passed her drug tests.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) communications director Mark Adams says that the best athletes in the world are competing at the very highest level, and they have seen several records broken already. There’s a very strong drug testing programme in place, and they are confident they will catch cheats if there are any - as they have done already. He added that talk of doping is an inevitably sad result due to the people who do it and cheat. However, he thinks it’s sad if they can’t admire a great performance, and they always want to give athletes the benefit of the doubt.