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John Leonard on Ye Shiwen

July 30, 2012

John Leonard, the executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, described the gold medal-winning performance of 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen in the women’s 400m individual medley as “unbelievable”. After reading the complete article in the Guardian, my feeling is that he hints that Shiwen simply must be doped. I just want to give my thoughts to the debate.

I am so tired of people screaming that an athlete must be doped as soon as he/she does something great. I am not saying that Shiwen isn’t doped, I have no clue if she is or not, but is really a seven seconds improvement over a year that remarkable for a teenager? Haven’t teenagers set world records before? John Leonard can’t be proven wrong. If she turns out doped it’s easy for him to glance, if not it doesn’t say she wasn’t doped and he can still stick to his claims.

Ross Tucker at The Science of Sport also questions her result, but he at least back his thoughts with some analysis.

I agree, it is really remarkable that she swam faster than Ryan Lochte the last 50 meters. But, Lochte was extremely tired in the end, and that comparison says nothing. Jonas Karlsson have great thoughts on the topic here (in Swedish).

From → In English

2 Comments
  1. Julius Lee permalink

    I am so sorry, but I really disagree very strongly that Ye doped. I just can’t agree on this.
    There is absolutely no illegal drug tests that came out positive on her, but I always see these claims that she doped? I really can’t agree on her being unclean, but can only think that this is American Swimming jealousy.

    • Hi Julius. I agree with you overall. Not sure it’s about jealousy though…

      I don’t now if I was clear enough, but I do not suggest that she was/is doped. As I said, I’m so tired of people shouting out DOPING as soon as an athlete does something wonderful. I couldn’t hear anyone talking about doping when Ian Thorpe, Michael Phelps, or Swedish youngster Sara Sjöström broke world records at a very young age.

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