December 18, 2017
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chinese deny Ye doping as Phelps seeks medal record

China has vehemently rejected suggestions by a US coach that doping might be behind the astonishing performance of a Chinese swimmer as Michael Phelps, himself a former teen pool prodigy, bids to become the most decorated Olympian of all time.

Ye Shiwen, 16, is chasing a second gold in Tuesday’s 200 metres individual medley final after winning the 400 medley on Saturday more than a second inside the world record.

“We want to be very careful about calling it doping,” the American John Leonard, executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, told Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

“The one thing I will say is that history in our sport will tell you that every time we see something – and I will put quotation marks around this – ‘unbelievable’, history shows us that it turns out later on there was doping involved.”

But officials and swimming greats lined up to urge that Ye be given credit for her achievement in the absence of any proof of guilt.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams hinted strongly to reporters that Ye had passed her drug test at the Games.

“We would only comment if we had any adverse finding. I am not commenting, so you can draw your own conclusions,” he said.

“I think we need to get real here. These are the world’s best athletes competing at the highest level. We have a very, very strong drugs testing programme. If there are cheats, we will catch them.”

The Chinese team slapped back at Ye’s accuser.

“Ye Shiwen has been seen as a genius since she was young, and her performance vindicates that,” Xu Qi, head of the Chinese swimming team, told the news agency Xinhua.

“If there are suspicions, then please lay them out using facts and data,” he said. “Don’t use your own suspicions to knock down others. This shows lack of respect for athletes and for Chinese swimming.”

China briefly dominated women’s swimming in the 1990s but their reign ended as fast as it began after a series of doping scandals.

Ye covered the last 50 metres of freestyle faster than American Ryan Lochte, who won the equivalent men’s event in the second-best time in history.

She issued a firm denial on Monday, telling the China News Service: “My results come from hard work and training and I would never use any banned drugs.”

Australia’s Ian Thorpe, winner of five Olympic swimming golds, warned against rushing to judgment.

 “Young swimmers can take off chunks of time that other swimmers can’t,” he said.

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Tags:  swimming  US  CHina  phelps  doping  ye shiwen  

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