The 16 year old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwn completed the 400m IM in world record time on her way to the gold medal. In doing so, she all but matched men’s 400 IM winner Ryan Lochte’s time of 58 seconds over the last 100m, and actually surpassed his time over the last 50m.
This may just be the rise of a great athlete, but then again, there are many points towards foul play.
Ye was the team-mate of Li Zhesi, the infamous drug cheat who in June tested positive to the renown EPO erythropoietin.
Ye Shiwen is unfortunately bound by precedent. Over the last 15 years, a number of Chinese swimmers have tested positive to Dihydrotestosterone, anabolic steroids, erythropoietin and human growth hormones.
In the 92′ games at Barcelona they left with four gold and at the 94′ World Champs they eclipsed the field to win 12 of the 16 gold medals on offer in the women’s division.
Scepticism was on the rise. Prior to the 90s, China was not recognised as a power-house swimming nation.
At the 94′ Asian Games, eleven athletes tested positive to dihydrotestosterone. This triggered the demise of Chinese swimming, until 1998.
The Chinese representatives at the 98′ World Champs looked promising, until four swimmers tested positive before the event.
Since 1990, over 40 Chinese swimmers have tested positive to a banned substance.
Ye Shiwen? Make up your own mind.