• London 2012 - Swimming

Ye Shiwen hits back at drug slur

ESPN staff
July 31, 2012
Ye Shiwen's 400m IM gold medal has raised suspicions © Getty Images
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China's teenage swimming sensation Ye Shiwen, who smashed a world record with an awesome display in the 400m individual medley, has denied taking performance enhancing drugs

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Ye's final 50m were faster than men's winner Ryan Lochte and a leading US coach described the performance as "disturbing".

There is no evidence against her and all medal winners are drug tested, but in shaving five seconds off her personal best, Ye caught the eye of John Leonard, the executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, who said: "The one thing I will say is that history in our sport will tell you that every time we see something, and I will put quotation marks around this, 'unbelievable', history shows us that it turns out later on there was doping involved."

However, Arne Ljungqvist, medical commission chairman for the International Olympic Committee, called the speculation "sad".

"To raise suspicion immediately when you see an extraordinary performance - to me it is against the fascination of sport," he said.

The Chinese federation has dismissed the speculation, with their swimming team leader Xu Qi claiming her results had been expected, and Ye has also defended herself.

"My results come from hard work and training and I would never use any banned drugs," she said. "The Chinese people have clean hands."

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