LONDON, United Kingdom – Swimming’s world governing body FINA insisted Wednesday, August 1, there was “no factual basis” for speculation Ye Shiwen’s Olympic medley double had been fuelled by banned drugs.
“Following recent comments reported in the media, FINA would like to clearly state that there is no factual basis to support this kind of insinuation related to the performances of the Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen,” FINA said in a statement.
“This athlete has fulfilled all of the FINA Doping Control obligations, having been tested on four occasions in the last twelve months, including twice before the Chinese Olympic Trials in 2012,” FINA added in a statement released a day after Ye completed a medley double with a victory in the 200m.
It was the 16-year-old’s dramatic win in the 400m medley in world record time on Saturday, July 28 that sparked speculation, with many commentators recalling doping scandals involving other Chinese swimmers.
On Tuesday night, July 31, Ye added 200m Olympic gold to her world championship title, sealing the London Games double in an Olympic record of 2min 07.57sec.
After the race she proved quite capable of defending herself against unsubstantiated accusations.
“Absolutely not,” she said, when asked point blank if she had ever taken a banned substance.
“I do two-and-a half hours (training) every morning, two-and-a-half hours every afternoon and I have trained for nine years…
“I think in other countries people have won multiple medals and no one says anything about them, so why should they say these things about me?
“There is likely to be more good (Chinese) swimmers coming behind me because others have the same potential that I have.”
John Leonard, executive director of the World Swimming Coaches’ Association, raised suspicions about the authenticity of her swims in comments made to the Guardian newspaper.
However, pool greats including former British swimmer Adrian Moorhouse said she should be given the benefit of the doubt in the absence of a failed test.
“There are a lot of people in China. The base of their pyramid is so wide — if they train thousands and thousands and thousands of kids they might have just found their Michael Phelps,” Moorhouse said.
Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman said China’s history in the sport made cynicism understandable, but that attacks on Ye were “unfair”.
“I think it is unfair to immediately just jump on someone who has had an extraordinary swim because it is something that happens,” Bowman told the Daily Telegraph. – Agence France-Presse
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