The following is an update to Ye Shiwen, her second individual gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, and the doping speculation surrounding her amazing performance results. This video was uploaded to the CNN website on August 1, 2012. Jaime Florcruz provides reporting for this story. He is the CNN Beijing Bureau Chief.
On the 31st, Shiwen followed up her 400 medley gold-medal performance and world record with a 200 medley gold medal. Only this time, it was a new Olympic record but not a world record. Again, her last 50 meters were amazing, making it look like a man passing up little girls. It is these last 50 meters that has generated the doping speculation. I have included some background details below about the controversy.
Jaime Florcruz recounts the story of several Chinese swimmers seemingly coming out of nowhere and putting up amazing times in the 90s. Many of them ended up testing positive in 1994. The Chinese say it is unfair to bring that up against Ye Shiwen. Well, it’s not just that. It’s that those blistering closing times raised an eyebrow. Then, people are looking at history once suspicion is raised.
So far, there is no word from the testers that any swimmer in London 2012 has tested positive for any performance-enhancing drugs.
The cause of the controversy has to do with the freestyle split time of Ye’s gold-medal performance in the women’s 4 X 100 individual medley swimming race. That split time (the last of the four strokes in the medley) was faster than US swimmer and men’s gold medalist Ryan Lochte. Naturally, men swim a little faster than the women, so this raised some suspicious eyebrows.
Well, this cuts both ways. When you look at the overall time of Lochte and Ye Shiwen, they are really not that close. Ryan finished his 4 X 100 medley in 4 minutes and 5.18 seconds. 8th place in the men’s event was 4 minutes and 14 seconds.
Yi Shiwen’s time was a new women’s world record, but it was only 4 minutes and 28 seconds, which is 14 seconds slower than the 8th place male swimmer in the men’s final (and about 23 seconds slower than Lochte).