Shortcutting… In Defence of the Chinese Swimmer

1 Aug

Like any good Olympics, London 2012 has already had a fair bit of gossip. One of the biggest talking points has been sixteen-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen, who took gold at both the 400 and 200m individual medleys. Many are of the belief that she has used performance-enhancing drugs: her performance in the 400m shattered the previous world record, she had a seemingly unbelievable surge of energy in the last lap, swimming faster than her male counterpart Ryan Lochte, winner of the men’s race, and China has seen some doping in the past – in June another Chinese swimmer of the same age – Li Zhesi – was found to have taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Perhaps, when viewed like this, the evidence seems somewhat incriminating. But look at it this way: Ye Shiwen has tested negative in doping tests. Yes, sometimes these tests miss things but imagine if it was an athlete from your own country? Would you assume that this incredible result was due to drugs, or would you praise such a talented young athlete? No one thought the worst when Michael Phelps broke a whole lot of records and got a whole lot of medals. All we can know for sure is that this young athlete trains incredibly hard – she says she has trained ‘two and a half hours every morning and two and a half hours each afternoon for nine years’, according to the Huffington Post, and there is little doubt as to the sacrifices she has made. It is unfair to just assume that she is cheating, out of – what? National jealousy? Because we feel China has enough medals?

I can see why people might believe that this unbelievable performance must be down to doping, but I think it’s only fair to look at the evidence – doping tests – and give her the benefit of the doubt, at least until new evidence comes to light.

My verdict? Innocent until proven guilty.

(I realize that post was all rather serious – the humour will be back soon!)

Keep shortcutting,


2 Responses to “Shortcutting… In Defence of the Chinese Swimmer”

  1. msperfectpatty August 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    I agree with you innocent until proven guilty. She could just be well trained and whatever regimen she has to sustain her body is working for her.

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