Dan Holland on the suspicion surrounding performances from two of the Olympic Games’ youngest athletes in the University of York’s Nouse:
Probably the two most outstanding performances of the Olympic Games so far have come in the swimming pool, with 16-year-old Ye Shiwen and 15-year-old Ruta Meilutyte producing incredible times to claim gold medals for China and Lithuania. Unfortunately, the spectre of doping has raised its ugly head in swimming once again, with some left wondering how these two young women, Ye in particular, could produce such outstanding performances having been relative unknowns beforehand.
Given her country’s history in the sport, it is sadly unsurprising that Ye’s win has been questioned. Dozens of Chinese swimmers tested positive for banned substances in the 1980s and 90s, and only last month Li Zhesi, a 4x100m medley world champion, was found to be using a performance enhancing drug.
The doubts over Ye relate to her performance in the 400m individual medley, in which she broke the world record and swam a faster final 50m than both Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps did in the men’s race. Few have mentioned, however, that her overall time was still 23 seconds slower than Lochte’s and her final 50m was still slower than others in the men’s race. It can hardly be argued that she came from nowhere to win either, after all she is a gold medalist at both the World Championships and Asian Games.
Full article here.