With the London Olympics underway, the first doping scandal of the games seems to have hit and it involves 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen. Ye won a gold on Saturday after making record time in the 400 meter medley, beating the times of gold medalist men’s swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. American swim coach John Leonard stopped short of accusing Ye of using banned performance-enhancing substances but said her win was “disturbing.” From the Guardian:
The American John Leonard, executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, said the 16-year-old’s performance was “suspicious” and said it brought back “a lot of awful memories” of the Irish swimmer Michelle Smith’s race in the same event at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Smith, now Michelle de Bruin, was banned for four years in 1998 after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
Ye stunned world swimming on Saturday by winning gold in the 400m individual medley in a world-record time. It was her final 100m of freestyle, in which she recorded a split time of 58.68sec, that aroused Leonard’s suspicion. Over the last 50m she was quicker than the American Ryan Lochte, who won the men’s 400m individual medley in the second-fastest time in history .
“We want to be very careful about calling it doping,” said Leonard, who is also the executive director of the USA Swimming Coaches Association.
“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. That last 100m was reminiscent of some old East German swimmers, for people who have been around a while. It was reminiscent of the 400m individual medley by a
« Back to Article