Ye is not a drugs cheat! Lord Coe joins officials and family in backing Chinese sensation
18:56 GMT, 31 July 2012
Both the Olympic and Ye Shiwen's own
family rallied around the Chinese swimming prodigy following suspicions
over her record-shattering performance in the pool.
Ye arguably has proven the sensation
of the Olympics so far after the 16-year-old won gold in the women's 400
metres individual medley on Saturday, taking five seconds off her
personal best and more than a second off the world record.
Record breaker: Ye Shiwen knocked five seconds off her personal best and broke the world record by more than a second as she stormed to gold in the 400m individual medley
Beaten: Ryan Lochte, pictured, was slower than Ye over the last 50 metres of his own medley race
However, it is the fact she swam the
final 50m of the freestyle leg of the event in a faster time than men's
champion Ryan Lochte that has really raised eyebrows, with American
coach John Leonard branding her performance 'suspicious', 'disturbing'
and 'unbelievable' and making comparisons with previous doping cases.
Ye has insisted 'there is absolutely
no problem' with her dramatic improvement because the Chinese team
adhered rigorously to anti-doping policies.
Outspoken: Top US swimming coach John Leonard called the feat 'unbelievable'
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said it would be 'very unfair to judge an athlete by a sudden breakthrough'.
He told ITV News: 'What you tend to forget is probably the 10 years of work that has already gone in to get to that point.
'You need to look back through her career. I think you've got to be very careful when you make judgments like that but, yes, it is an extraordinary breakthrough.'
British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan said: 'We know how on top of the game WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] are and WADA have passed her as clean. That's the end of the story.
'And it is regretable there is so much speculation out there.
'I don't like it. I think it is wrong. That athlete or, indeed, any athlete that has never tested positive is an athlete who should be supported by her federation and, indeed, everybody in the Olympic movement.
'Let us recognise that there is an extraordinary swimmer out there who deserves the recognition of her talent in these Games.'
The International Olympics Committee told Ye's critics to 'get real'.
'These are the world's best athletes competing at the very highest level,' IOC communications director Mark Adams said.
'We have seen all sorts of records broken already all over the place.'
He added: 'It is inevitably a sad result of the fact that there are people who dope and who cheat.
'But I equally think it's very sad if we can't applaud a great
performance. Let's always give the benefit of the doubt to athletes.'
Proud: Ye said her success was due to her training since she was identified as a potential champion
Medal winners: Ye Shiwen shows off the gold alongside the United States' Elizabeth Beisel, left, and compatriot Li Xuanxu following the final
Ye's father, Ye Qingsong, told Chinese news portal Tencent that he
accepted it was 'normal for people to be suspicious' but added: 'The
western media has always been arrogant, and suspicious of Chinese
Jiang Zhixue, who leads anti-doping work at China's General
Administration of Sport, told the country's state news agency Xinhua: 'I
think it is not proper to single Chinese swimmers out once they produce
good results. Some people are just biased.
'We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing.'
Jiang said China's swimming team had made breakthroughs due to scientific training and sheer hard work.
He added: 'The Chinese athletes, including the swimmers, have undergone nearly 100 drug tests since they arrived here.
'Many were also tested by the international federations and the British
anti-doping agency. I can tell you that, so far, there was not a single
Deputy anti-doping chief Zhao Jian claimed Leonard 'thinks too much',
pointing out China had come down hard on doping since a spate of
problems in the 1990s.
Adams insisted this morning London 2012 had 'a very, very strong drug
testing programme and we are very confident that, if there are cheats,
we will catch them, as we already have done'.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt added that the Games had 'some of the most
rigorous, if not the most rigorous, anti-doping procedures in place for
'We've been absolutely determined to make sure that this is the cleanest Olympics ever,' he told the BBC.
In a final, the first five athletes are tested compulsorily along with two others, the IOC said.
Some 1,706 tests have been carried out so far, including 1,344 urine tests and 362 blood tests, the IOC added.