Olympics Doping Scandal
Critics maintain that very few elite athletes are capable of such finish to round off a gruelling endurance race, and Ye's last leg performance brought forth memories of doping history associated withthe Chinese swimming program during the 1990s
Olympics Doping Scandal
Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen clocked a faster time in the water, during her medal-winning race, than Ryan Lochte could manage at the same distance, prompting the first doping scandal of the London Olympics, but where is the justification for giving the talented 16-year-old such a hard time, when she passed her drug test?
Some sports scientists dispute those test results, claiming that the young woman's Saturday 400-meter Individual Medley performance raises suspicions, in that she swam the final, freestyle leg in 28.93 seconds - faster than Lochte, in winning the men’s event - even though she had, in the breaststroke leg, been trailing behind American Elizabeth Beisel before that devastating final leg, producing a time 7seconds quicker than her own previous best time.
Critics maintain that very few elite athletes are capable of such finish to round off a gruelling endurance race, and Ye's last leg performance brought forth memories of doping history associated withthe Chinese swimming program during the 1990s. It was indeed only three years ago now that 16-year-old Li Zhesi, having broken a world record at the 400-mtr individual medley during the World Games, had tested positive for a banned hormone.
Like the outraged Chinese officials, I believe that this is really just a case of sour grapes and very unfair on a double gold medal winning athlete who worked and trained hard for years, seen by her coaches from an early age as extremely talented by Xu Qi, head of the Chinese swimming team.
There are, supposedly, ways to avoid detection in drug tests, via masking agents hiding known performance enhancing drugs, even taking as yet unknown others, something amply demonstrated by US sprinter Marion Jones - 2000 Sydney Olympics winner of 5 five track and field gold medals.
Having passed all her tests at the time with flying colours, seven years later she owned up to using a previously unknown synthetic steroid to help her win. While World Anti-Doping Association tests can detect 240 different banned chemical compounds, there is by no means a guarantee that every one available is accounted for.
However, since red blood cell counts - another indicator of substance abuse - are taken regularly, and kept frozen for eight years by International Olympic Committee scientists for eight years, re-checked as new drugs screening tests appear, it seems highly unlikely that cheating can occur. Why not just accept that Ye is an incredible new swimming talent with an awesome turn of speed, and be grateful that we get to see her in action?