Many have doubted the legitimacy of Ye Shiwen's record-breaking results. But should they?
Ye Shiwen is the 17-year-old Chinese swimmer who has twice won gold at these Olympics and destroyed the world record in the Women's 400 m individual medley. Yet upon her record breaking victory, many Americans doubted the legitimacy of her performance. The American head of the World Swimming Coaches Association called the record "suspicious" and said:
“If there is something unusual going on in terms of genetic manipulation or something else, I would suspect over eight years science will move fast enough to catch it,” Leonard said. “I have every faith that eventually if there is something there to be caught it will be caught. Right now all we can say is Olympic champion, world record holder, and watch out for history.”
So why the suspicion? Shiwen swam her last 50 meters faster than Ryan Lochte did in the men's race.
Is it possible that she just did this because she's a great swimmer? That she's the best the world has ever seen in that race (and the best the Olympics have ever seen in the 200 m medley as well)? If she was American would anyone question her?
Her father, Ye Qingsong, says the suspicion comes from a less than legitimate place.
"The western media has always been arrogant, and suspicious of Chinese people."
Additionally China's anti-doping head pointed out that they had never questioned Michael Phelps' other worldly accomplishments in Beijing, and that it's "not proper" to single out a Chinese swimmer now.