Monday, July 30, 2012

The 16 Year Old Girl Who Beat Ryan Lochte


I have a feeling this story is not going away anytime soon. 16 year old Ye Shiwen won the gold medal for China in the 400m IM. This is the same event that Ryan Lochte had won earlier. In the last 100M, this 16 year old teen managed to swim faster than Ryan did in his last 100M. Ye won the race with a time that beat everyone else by 3 seconds and beat her personal best by five seconds. Five seconds and three seconds might not seem like a lot, but it is a ton. To beat everyone by three seconds and your personal best by five seconds? That means you swam almost one quarter of a lap faster than you ever have before. Ye also beat the world record by a full second. It could be just the story of a lifetime of a teen who peaked at exactly the right time, or it could be something more sinister. It just seems crazy that she was not even a favorite to win and then just crushed everyone and to beat her own personal best like that? Something does not seem right.

112 comments:

Amber said...

The Olympics are rigged! Is Tim Donaghy one of the judges??

Mindreader said...

Oh come on Enty, the kid just have talent…and a lot of determination!?

bluebird said...

The bronze medallist, Rebecca Adlington, swam faster than both Ryan Lochte and Ye in the last 100m. It's about how they swim their races. Whether they conserve speed for the last bit or not..

I think it's racism to question the Chinese at this point but to give the other swimmers a free pass. Believe me, a lot of them - Americans, Australians, the French, etc. also have highly suspicious elements and may be doping as well.

Beth said...

I don't trust the Chinese for the same reason I wouldn't trust the East Germans if they were still around.

I have no doubt there is questionable behavior among Western athletes, but I think issues with the Chinese are systemic and come from the top down.

Barton Fink said...

Hmm. What I dislike about the Olympics is the idea that I should hate someone because they come from another country.

katsm0711 said...

I'm not sure being underaged would help here but the Chinese did fake a birth certificate at the last Olympics for a gymnast or two

Kaizer... said...

@bluebird exactly. And lets not forget nobody knew who Rebecca Adlington was before the last Olympic games.

Beth said...

Where is this hate?

I think its more about international politics and perceived behavior on the part of certain countries and their competitors. It's not hate for individual athletes (for the most part) or hate for certain countries.

Barton Fink said...

Doing a google search for "ye shiwen" and restricting the time to everything before May 1, 2012, a ton of stories show up. Demolishing the competition. Gold. Number one. Winning (even before Sheen made that popular). I'm not comfortable with the conspiracy theory.

Cleodacat said...

Sorry this Olympic is full of competitive advantages whether is engineered equipment, like swimsuits, or the allowance of a woman that is genetically a man or the assistance of running blades. I'm all for the handicapped being treated as equal but maybe it would be more fair if everyone was running on blades. I think that "bladerunning" sounds cool and more like the sports I imagined in the 21st century :-)

Matt Rand said...

I am fine with any country winning. I really am. I'm also fine with anomalies. Where I raise an eyebrow is a LOT of anomalies. All of a sudden out of no where, China is kicking ass in swimming. No history of performing all that well and no golds. Now their swim program is churning out gold-winning WR-holding swimmers?

Again, not a bad thing. but eyebrows are raised.

donner said...

I don't know anything about this swimming situation but the Chinese did cheat with their gymnasts in Beijing. They were underage, but all their birth certificates had been falsified.

I still like Lochte and hope he has a successful Olympics.

SilverOnyx said...

Umm as a swimmer myself, let's just say this is incredibly fishy. My sister swam personally with Andrew Gemmel and a crap load of others that made it to the top two rounds of the tryouts but didn't make the final cut.

I'd just say the fact that she's not competing in the 100 free makes it even more suspicious. Plus the fact if you look at the chick she looks like a 25 year old jacked dude, I just dont believe it. I'd say recently the Chinese have a bad rap for cheating and that doesn't help, im just saying looking at the numbers and the events she's swimming, it just doesn't feel right.

rejectedcarebear said...

I love when anyone breaks a WR! Congrats girl..you earned it.

Christina said...

Are you suggesting that the Chinese cheat during the Olympics? I thought they only did that with girls gymnastics

WBotW said...

Hello racism! Nice to see sour grapes is still alive and well here. Congrats to Ye Shiwen and China :-)

katsm0711 said...

Lol we'd be considered racists no matter what country it was!

Beta said...

congratulations to Ye Shiwen. she was so happy :)
she may or may not have doped, just like any other athlete, that's what controls are for. the end.
I feel some national pride may be hurt over here and blaming China for doping is the easiest scapegoat.

Frufra said...

Don't y'all get it? Now that there's no USSR, we've got to shift suspicions elsewhere - hello, China - the New and Improved Red Menace!

But, truly, what Beth and Barton said.

But it is pretty crappy when you realize that the Cold War was really a product of our arms industry and government, to keep us scared of the boogeyman and willing to go along with the Arms Race. All those Nuclear War drills that we did in elementary school (getting under your desk will save you from the bomb my ass!) were essentially scare tactics.

Salon deWinchester said...

I swam competitively in High School, not brilliantly, but to think that this achievement occurred without some shenanigan is incredible in the literal sense of the word. I say this without regard to this particular athlete or her country of origen. And I would say the same if it were done by an American. Improvement in swimming is achieved in tiny tiny increments, not big giant chunks as happened here.

lostathome said...

5 seconds? Holy shit. That is a lot. It's like in horseracing, if a horse runs a race even a second faster than the race has been run, and breaks a record, it's a big deal. 2 seconds is even more astonishing, and 3 is pretty much unfathomable. When you're talking about the speed of mammals when it's been timed, even 1/5 of a second can be a pretty big deal. Especially a human who aren't really super fast.

katsm0711 said...

Note how those with actual swimming experience are saying this is odd but the hippies are all OMG CONGRATS I'M SO HAPPY FOR A NEW WORLD RECORD!!!

luckylass said...

I would be suspicious of any team that has a long and recent history of doping. For me it isn't against any particular country. I do remember that there was a Chinese gymnanst with baby teeth last olympics - what happened to that? Is there an official age restriction?

luckylass said...

@Frufra - this isn't limited to the US media.

Agent**It said...

I don't care who's from where. I just love swimming events because I never progressed beyond the dog paddle. Swimmers truly astonish me. Congrats to you that tried !

Frufra said...

@kats - so funny, yet so true! We hipps are all "great job; we're all winners in the game of life". That's why hippies don't generally get involved in competitive sports :-).

jane3113 said...

You know what probably happened with China and swimming? After Sydney with all the US vs AUS battles in the pool, the Chinese government probably mandated a focus on finding and training swimmers. Just because they were not a powerhouse in the pool before, doesn't mean they haven't been quietly focusing on it.

I think this is legit. The US, French and Aussies just have to be aware that there is a new power in swimming now.

Agent**It said...

@Frufra, haha, explains why I never went beyond the dog paddle.

jane3113 said...

Question for swimmers (and other athletes). How much can adrenaline play a part in something like that? I feel like there was another swim time that shattered the swimmer's personal best. Maybe not 5 seconds but wouldn't you be faster than normal in the Olympic final?

Also, don't they test the athletes every day for banned substances?

rejectedcarebear said...

@kats- I just don't see the point in getting hot and bothered by allegations that this girl cheated. She just swam fast as shit and good for her. Maybe the 'hippie' in me wishes everyone could just be glad that she did well.

uberbaldy said...

The Chinese are not a race. They are a country. It's not "racist" to suspect that they may be doping or cheating in other ways when they have a history of doing just that. Seriously people,

STOP THROWING THAT WORD AROUND!

This is swimming. If more then a handful of commentors on here admit to following swimming in between the Olympics I'm going to call you out on your bullshit. Also this is a Chinese competitor. How likely do you think it's going to be that this particular Chinese swimmer will have made the news when Lochte, Phelps, and that other gal(I forget her name at the moment) have been taking up the spots for the US news on swimming. Hell, she was probably mentioned but only as a throw away so no one remembers her. GET OVER IT and stop accusing people who suspect foul play as being racist. THAT ISN'T HOW THAT WORD WORKS YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES!

Yes, I'm being a bit strong throwing "asshole" out there but if you are willing to jump to the assumption that someone is a racist; I'm willing to jump to the assumption that you are an asshole.

I do find it suspicious that she was able to beat her own record by 5 seconds. That is a hell of a gap and if you are paying attention to the competitions you will see that most of the gold medalists are beating their own records, if at all, by a matter of tenths of a second. Not 5 WHOLE seconds. Either she has been holding back this entire time or something else is in play. One way is just sneaky, and smart, and the other is probably illegal.

Chilie said...

what am I missing here?

Ryan's time in the 400 was 4:05.18

Ye's time was 4:28.43

Every article I find refers to how fast she was during the last 50 meters of the 400 meter race...

katsm0711 said...

I love you @uberbaldy

Jolene Jolene said...

@luckylass--All Olympians must be 16 years old (or turn 16 during the Olympic games). The New York Times had an article about this from 2008. Here is an excerpt:

"The Times found two online records of official registration lists of Chinese gymnasts that list He [Kexon]’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994, which would make her 14. A 2007 national registry of Chinese gymnasts — now blocked in China but viewable through Google cache — shows He’s age as “1994.1.1.”

Another registration list that is unblocked, dated Jan. 27, 2006, and regarding an “intercity” competition in Chengdu, China, also lists He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That date differs by two years from the birth date of Jan. 1, 1992, listed on He’s passport, which was issued Feb. 14, 2008.

The other gymnast, Jiang, is listed on her passport — issued March 2, 2006 — as having been born on Nov. 1, 1991, which would make her 16 and thus eligible to compete at the Beijing Games.

A different birth date, indicating Jiang is not yet 15, appears on a list of junior competitors from the Zhejiang Province sports administration. The list of athletes includes national identification card numbers into which birth dates are embedded. Jiang’s national card number as it appears on this list shows her birth date as Oct. 1, 1993, which indicates that she will turn 15 in the fall, and would thus be ineligible to compete in the Beijing Games."

The only thing the IOC was able to do when this info came out was check the passports. They really couldn't do much else about it or accuse the Chinese government of producing falsified passports for them without any proof.

I know people love to scream racism about being suspicious of the Chinese re: the Olympics, but this is pretty damning.

Chilie said...

One more thing - weird stuff happens at the Olympics and it's not always enhancement drugs.

Adrenaline kicks in. Nerves kick in. Top placed athletes who normally win everything sometimes fail to qualify to compete based on the trial race. No name athletes emerge because they aced the trial... Athletes can give a performance of a lifetime... Adrenaline is a wonderful thing.

Phelps is tanking because he doesn't have the same drive & hunger, and he took his talent for granted and didn't try as hard during training, imo.

L said...

Dear Ye, please come here with me and kindly pee in this cup like a good girl...
does anybody remember the athlete from last Olympic in China who turned out was not even old enough to compete.. i just have a feeling China is the new USSR from the 80's [or maybe they have always been..]

luckylass said...

@Jolene Jolene - thanks for the info!

lolaluvs2snack said...

After reading years of celebrity gossip and blind items. NOTHING would surprise me. Winning the GOLD is worth a lifetime of luxury in any country. These people are hungry for this(in EVERY Country), who knows what they will or won't do to win.

SusanB said...

cosign with uberbaldy.

luckylass said...

Lets face it, China has a completely different way of training Olympians that many other countries, including the US.

DueDiligence said...

Oh PLEASE, stop it with the charges of RACISM!!! It's pathetic.

This is the same country that:

Shipped toys with lead paint to the US: FACT.

Shipped us gypsum board (sheet rock) laden with formaldehyde, poisoning thousand of people and rendering thousands of building uninhabitable: FACT.

Was caught CHEATING at the women's world cups right before the Olympics: FACT.

Is notorious for using child labor and slave labor throughout their country: FACT.

Routinely dumps highly toxic chemicals in its waterways and landfills: FACT.

And some of you think it's RACISM to question if they're cheating when a 15 year old female suddenly crushes her own person best times by 5 seconds! Do you realize how long 5 seconds is in competitive swimming? If someone like Michael Phelps loses 1 second on his time, he is said to have "lost it" and is "completely out of shape".

Was it racist when Lance Armstrong was accused of juicing? Oh wait, he's white so it's perfectly fine to question him. How silly of me.

BigMama said...

I'm cosigning with what Barton said.

annabella said...

I'm with you, due diligence.

but, won't she be drug tested like the rest of them?

I think that they should just have an 'all drugs' olympics. drugging encouraged, that way, its a level playing field. ;)

Jolene Jolene said...

Oh, luckylass! I hadn't heard the thing about the baby teeth, but they do mention it in this NYT article. Holy shit! Bela Karolyi talks about the Olympics where the Chinese gymnast had two missing front teeth because they were baby teeth, and she was probably younger than 11. ???

They make a point that cheating re: age for the Olympics isn't that hard for countries like China because the government has such strict control over official paperwork (and their ability to alter it). I guess it's sort of a known secret among the gymnastics world.

And people here are so shocked that others are accusing the Chinese of cheating...uh huh.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/sports/olympics/27gymnasts.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

dia papaya said...

Don't know much about swimming, but I have been to China and seen how things work. I studied in a few hospitals and was blow away by how smart and determined and disciplined everyone was. There is no whinning. They just do it and get it done. When I was tired and dreaming of sleep or beer or whatever, they would still be there working!

I came home thinking it was only a matter of time before China takes over the world. I mean this in a playing Risk sort of way, not literally.

BTW - I loved China and found most people very lovely. Bravo Shiwen for all your hard work!

wushuliu said...

5 seconds is huge. HUGE. Yes, it is suspicious. Also suspicious are their male gymnasts who suffered a bunch of injuries. All very strange, but yeah 5 seconds is a ridiculous number to beat one's record.

Agent**It said...

I, of course, would not be allowed into China. Free Tibet .

Amy in MI said...

I swam competitively and and my ex fiancé was a top ranked 200 fly swimmer. This is VERY odd. You just dot shave that much time off your personal best. It just doesn't happen without some outside help, and I'm not talking swimsuits. Remember the body suits that they all wore in the last Olympics made out of polyurethane are banned. So people are shocked that ANY records are getting smashed, especially last night with van de burgh from south Africa. It just doesn't happen.

Henriette said...

So we can't talk about China cheating because they are Chinese? That doesn't even make sense. China cheated in Beijing with their gymnasts. If China can do that with gymnasts, why can't they do that with swimmers?

I don't watch the Olympics, so I don't care.

Stacey said...

I'm so glad you addressed this, Enty! I've been thinking the same thing. Out of the blue, China is just whooping the rest of the world in events they aren't typically known to dominate. I smell performance enhancing drugs. I hope someone calls foul loud enough for the proper authorities to notice.

Seachica said...

@Amy - I didn't realize that they had banned the suits from the last Olympics. I'm so glad to hear that! Seems like that was a massive advantage to countries that could afford the latest high tech swimwear.

Count me in with DueDiligence. There have been too many confirmed instances of the Chinese fudging with their athletes and manufacturing processes to give them the complete benefit of the doubt here. Lots of competitive swimmers on here, and they all agree that 5 seconds is an incredible improvement. I suspect she has been training at the Lance Armstrong school of competitive sports.

Seachica said...

(see? not just Chinese are accused of bending the rules)

Aly said...

Exactly Amy in MI.

Just a bunch of uninformed posters who just don't get it.

When it seems to good to be true, it usually is.

In cycling, Contador, Landis, etc., etc.

Anyone forgetting Ben Johnson, Marion Jones and FloJo kicking the bucket so early. Drugs weren't responsible?

Baseball with Canseco, Clemens, etc.

East Germany had a bunch of swimmers who then developed various diseases.

Ye Shiwen is just following in the line. Perhaps she tests clean now, but the IOC is keeping the samples for eight years.

One of the female relay runners from Athens was just disqualified.

Give this time to sort itself out.

Here's a Czeck runner. If she doesn't look juiced, no woman does.

http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=611&tbm=isch&tbnid=LMVfDYPGlk1nQM:&imgrefurl=http://rapidas.webcindario.com/europeosindoor.htm&docid=kTGCt_-tWpe3vM&imgurl=http://rapidas.webcindario.com/jarmila_kratochvilova.jpg&w=450&h=459&ei=XbYWUKSgEeSD4gTJ24DgAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=752&vpy=129&dur=3182&hovh=227&hovw=222&tx=132&ty=240&sig=105525876691452602232&page=1&tbnh=126&tbnw=116&start=0&ndsp=23&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:0,i:91

SilverOnyx said...

Yeah my sister was a much better swimmer than me but she personally swam w a crapload of ones slated to make it this year and Andrew Gemmel like I said who did make it. The problem is in her splits. Her final 100 meter free was insanely fast and it was faster than lotche's time. Although certain people are better in certain events then fact that she's not swimming the 200 meter or 400 meter free speaks volumes.


And just saying this outright, I'm sure adreline could account for some of that but not 5 seconds or 7 seconds faster than she swam the same event within one year. The people who shave their entire bodies and heads are only expecting that to increase their times by a tenth of a second and they still do it for an advantage. If people are willing to shave their entire body for a tenth of a second better on their time that should show that 5 seconds increase is not something that ever happens.

Agent**It said...

@Amy in MI, that was informative, thank you.

smashbash said...

I am with you and agent**it. I think this is a time to celebrate everyone of all shapes, colors and sizes. They have all worked hard no matter what country and good for them! And good for her!

DueDiligence said...

Also I am sure they will be tested... and find nothing. This is what NFL and NCAA football is up against right now. We are gaining insight to how performance enhancing drugs operate that new drugs are constantly being developed that won't show up in the tests.

This is not the age of using horse horomones. Some of these drugs can get metabolised out in a matter of days and can't be detected. When you test, you have to know what you are looking for to begin with. If someone has come up with something new, then there is no test for it.

ChasingHeaven said...

Uh...Any country's solution to their workers committing suicide in droves because of the horrible work condition is to put up nets around the building to catch them when they try to jump to their death is questionable.

And yes, they're already proven cheaters. That comes with repercussions such as questioning something like this.

Agent**It said...

Free Tibet.

Wendell said...

Agree with all competitive swimmers who commented here, esp. Salon deWinchester (apologies if I mangled the name). They have the history and knowledge of what it takes to improve on your own record, let alone smash a world record. It's usually about tenths of a second, NOT five seconds (The Guardian is reporting seven seconds.) My husband is a past competitive swimmer who got to Jr. Olympics level, and he's suspicious. And I don't care who and what country is involved, I'd be suspicious of anyone who made such an astounding improvement in timing.

Linnea said...

This is why I hate the Olympics. I want to believe in these athletes, but I know a lot of them cheat and there is no way to catch them. Ugh.

Agent**It said...

@DueDil
"Some of these drugs can get metabolised out in a matter of days and can't be detected"

When is her next event?

Robert said...

FREE TIBET!!!

Amy in MI said...

Glad I could help clear up some stuff. The bodysuits were banned in 2009.
I don't know what drug she could take that would give her that much of an advantage. Any of the beta 2 agonists would help her but not THAT much ( clenbuterol, etc). Steroids ( stanozolol etc) wouldn't do much either except help muscle repair. It may be blood doping but I honestly dont have a clue unless Flipper himself was invisible and she rode him to the finish

sussique said...

pee test, please

alliwholovessomuch said...

It's only natural to be suspicious of a country that has cheated at that sport before, that was an olympics too wasn't it?

Texshan said...

I swam competitively throughout high school and college. I wasn't even close to Olympic caliber, but I know about the training and the regimens. Anyone with any kind of competitive swimming background will tell you that this girl's swim is highly suspicious. NO ONE cuts that amount of time off their personal best that quickly. Cutting a second is huge -- cutting five seconds is unheard of. Yes, adrenaline plays a part at the Olympics, but not that much.

This is not a racism thing. That's a convenient way to try and put people who rightfully question this on the defensive. You have to look at China's history of cheating in the Olympics. As some other people have mentioned, the Chinese gymnasts in Beijing were OBVIOUSLY younger than 16. Most of them didn't look a day over 12, and one or two of them looked like they were still in elementary school. Last night they showed one of the girls on the team who was also on the team in 2008, and they listed her age as 20. I snorted and said, "Maybe in 6 years she'll be 20."

They also identify children with natural abilities and take them away from their parents and stick them in training schools where they do nothing but their sport 24/7. I'm sure there is juicing going on in some form. This isn't an open, Western democracy we're talking about, people. It's China. They will do anything to win on a national stage because they think it demonstrates how their country and system of government is superior to everyone else's. They have no problem juicing to succeed.

Celimene said...

Am I skeptical? Absolutely. Is she the only one I think is doping? Absolutely not. There's a ton of doping players can do that can't be easily detected - microdosing, cocktails that they don't test for yet - and in their pursuit for glory, some nations want to win at any cost.

I don't have much knowledge of swimming, but I do know quite a bit about competitive tennis. When a player makes a miraculous improvement in form in a matter of months - Sara Errani of Italy is a great example - alarm bells go off. And wouldn't you know, she trains at an academy run by one of Armstrong's doping doctors.

Point is, if it seems suspicious, it probably is.

Kara said...

Cheating, not cheating, I don't know.

But as for racism - It was two or three olympics ago when an Irish woman swimmer came out of nowhere to just kill the competition. People said she was doping. She vehemently denied and everyone was talking about how it was just sour grapes to attack her that way.

About a year later, the doping was confirmed.

dia papaya said...

Robert and Agent**It! - Totally Agree! Free Tibet!

Notice I said the Chinese PEOPLE were lovely. Government a very different story. I was on my best behavior while I was there, just in case...

Agent**It said...

@Robert, well, I guess we can plan on never meeting in Beijing !!!!Love the flag, thanks.

Texshan said...

Props, Robert. I hate that everyone gives China such a huge pass on all of their human rights abuses and their occupation of Tibet. And every time I hear someone say "Chinese Taipei" at the Olympics, I want to shout, "You mean TAIWAN, don't you?!" Grrrr ...

Popcorn Sutton said...

@Amy in MI - I had forgotten about all of that controversy regarding the suits. Huh. That does make this all the more interesting.

@Texshan - Very well put.

Kind of off topic, but has anyone been following Olympic boxing? I watched a very obviously rigged fight yesterday and that lends more credence to any Olympics are less than lily white theories that may be floating around.

B. Profane said...

OT--if you want to watch plucky performances by obviously non-jacked athletes:

Ariel Hsing vs. the 2nd seeded Chinese player in yesterday's table tennis matches. Hsing, who looks like she's 12 and is ranked down in the hundreds, almost knocks off the hulking, much older Chinese pro.

Rigobert vs. the world in beach volleyball. She's basically playing 1-on-2 in her matches for Mauritius because her partner is so overmatched.

Henriette said...

I think the Olympics have been rigged from the get-go! That's why I don't watch anymore. I was in Greece for the 2004 ones because I worked on the Hellenistic Society's campaign to bring the Olympics home. After all I saw, I never got excited about the Olympics again.

Amy in MI said...

Celimene - I was also a competitive, nationally ranked tennis player. Errani didn't set off my warning bells that much, simply because she's Italian and it was on clay. However when Shevdova golden setted her at Wimbledon, THAT made me wonder. Iva Majoli anyone?

Worstcompanytoworkfor said...

China cheats every Olympics.

Jolene Jolene said...

Henriette--Tell us more! This fascinates me.

dyldaj said...

this girl is just really talented and developing in front of everyone, whilst i guess it's possible there is something more sinister going on i highly doubt it. the drug testing is far too sophisticated nowadays, you may get away with it in the short term but eventually they will find out. most feel it's not worth the risk and i really just think this girl is immensely talented

Linnea said...

Actually, drugs are too sophisticated these days. The tests are far behind them. And just like someone else said, he
might not even be aware of it herself. Her trainers could be giving her supplements or shots, telling her it's legal

B. Profane said...

With China you're talking about a country so secretive that the CIA and DOD openly confess that they know very little about their nuclear weapons program, and so technically accomplished that they have their own, indigenously-developed manned space program. Can they come up with a doping program that'll beat the current tests? Of course they can.

Consider the sport in which China is suddenly turning in all these amazing performances. Swimming, at which the US public particularly expects our athletes to excel at every Olympics. Coincidence? That's not paranoia, that's geopolitics.

Pigtown*Design said...

Don't forget - the samples are kept for eight years, so even if we can't discover what's in Ye's blood now, if anything, we may discover it in a few years.

Amy in MI said...

My friend looked at her picture and said " that's a boy". Hmmmm

Celimene said...

Amy, Errani's always been a decent clay courter, but to make the QF of the AO as a journeyman player who was something like 1-39 against top 20 players, then to make the FO finals? Color me suspicious. She also trains at TennisVal Academy, home to one of Armstrong's doping doctors and David Ferrer, who I've also had misgivings about. And yes, Shvedova's golden set and comeback from injury is also... interesting.

It's not impossible to peak in your mid-to-late 20s - see Pat Rafter - but the spate of women winning their first slams in their late 20s without coming close prior (thinking Novotna here as the exception) is definitely suspicious.

And now Ye Shiwen sets an Olympic record in the semis without one of those special suits.

Roxxx said...

@ Jolene Jolene: I don't think that's correct regarding the age limit for Olympians being 16, or turning 16 during the games. Rūta Meilutytė has just won gold for the 100m breaststroke, she's 15 and her birthday is 19th March 1997. So she's not turning 16 during these games.

I think it's great that Ye Shiwen won the race but for someone to knock 5 secs of their personal best is an incredible achievement and I can understand the suspicion and scepticism it's aroused. I hope that drugs aren't involved, however naive it might be of me, I hope she won this fair and square.

There does seem to be a certain amount of hate here directed at China as a country. Do I think the Chinese government is ambitious, ruthless and willing to sacrifice the individual for benefit of the State? Yes, absolutely. Do I think they're the only country to do this - no, definitely not.

I don’t think it’s implausible that performance enhancement drugs maybe used but also, out of a population of 1.3 billion, you think they can't find 51 people who are good at swimming? I think China is hugely ambitious, so they've systematically set about developing a programme of finding raw talent and investing in it. And I think other countries who have historically been quite good in certain fields, are beginning to feel quite threatened.

Henriette said...

@JoleneJolene
Greece had to go through hoops to get the Olympics. I had been working on the committee, since I was thirteen. Athens kept getting passed over for consideration in favor of richer countries, eg U.S., Australia, etc. They had to pay out of the kazoo to the committee. Don't let anyone tell you the Olympic Committee does not go with their hands out.

Besides all that, it's not a level playing field. The judges make competitions like gymnastics and diving harder and harder. If you got a gold in 1964, you wouldn't even qualify in 2012. Heck, sometimes it doesn't even look like the same sport!

Have you seen how complicated the routines have become for gymnasts? Of course these "athletes" take drugs! They would have to! It's getting to the point where it's not even human.

I can't believe the Olympic Committee gets upset about the drugs, doping, swim suits, etc, when they make it harder and harder for good athletes to compete.

The smaller countries cannot really compete. The Olympics are going to come down to maybe three countries in a couple of years, so it's all just a joke.

By the way, NBC has steadily been losing money on the Olympics.

Texshan said...

Roxxx, the 16 year-old age requirement is specifically for gymnastics. The other sports set their own age requirements. Supposedly, it's so that a country can't trot out some super-light pre-pubescent team (couch, China, cough) who haven't developed breasts or hips yet, giving them an unfair advantage in gymnastics.

Roxxx said...

@ Texshan;

Oh right - thank you for clarifying.

B. Profane said...

"I don’t think it’s implausible that performance enhancement drugs maybe used but also, out of a population of 1.3 billion, you think they can't find 51 people who are good at swimming?"

That good, that fast, that pervasively? Yes. They've gone from zero to multiple medal contender in swimming over the course of two Olympics. You'd need 15-20 years to build up a clean program that picked talented child swimmers and trained them into a team that could compete with the US. More like 30 for China. Impossible for them to suddenly have so many world-class swimmers.

Roxxx said...

I may be wrong on this but I understand that Rūta Meilutytė started competitive swimming 3 years ago, when she first arrived in the UK. Lithuania has never won a medal in swimming until now. So it is possible for these kind of achievements to be made in a shorter timeframe than 15-20 years.

Lola said...

It's funny that the same people who are all "free Tibet" and "it's Taiwan..." (I agree, BTW) are also arguing the idea that China might do something underhanded like doping its athletes.

Some of the new performance enhancing drugs are cleared through drug transfusions and covered with masking agents. As sophisticated as tests can be, those who gain from performance enhancement stay a step ahead.

Bowser said...

The current Nature has a long article on the new wave of performance enhancing drugs that there aren't any tests for. She can pee and get bood tested all they want, but she will pass. Even if they found them in her, they aven't even been declared illegal yet.

I ave been a competitive swimmer all my life and these things just don't happen without help.

You all certainly make make the words of P.T. Barnum ring true today.

Lola said...

*should be "arguing AGAINST the idea..."

__-__=__ said...

I think we would all be suspicious I'd Phelps surpassed his personal best by 5 seconds. That's a lot of swim time.

Jessie said...

5 seconds?! Holy what? Would her 100m time have been good in a 100m race?

Agent**It said...

I am not arguing at all against the idea. How do you read that?

B. Profane said...

Ye Shiwen's world-record margin over the last one set in a textile swimsuit (i.e., not one of the "supersuit" records) equates to lowering the men's 100 meter sprint record by a full two-tenths of a second. About equal to the record that a doped Ben Jonson achieved in the '88 Olympics.

Lola said...

Agent**It, I wasn't targeting you...you just got lumped in with the "hippies" which led to free Tibet, which led to somebody saying something about hippies vs doping...I was riffing off of that. :)

So...

Free Tibet. The Chinese dope their athletes.

Agent**It said...

^^

feraltart said...

One of the Aussie women only took up swimming 10 years ago. She was one of the 4 x 100 freestyle relay gold medallists, so it can happen. A lot of the people who were teenagers at the last Olympics are now in their 20's & that makes a difference. Injury also plays a part. Stephanie Rice has had a bad shoulder for 2 years. I hope the Chinese girl is drug free. China has used drugs for Olympic swimming previously, but those women looked massive.

katsm0711 said...

Damn hippies.

B. Profane said...

No, no, no, as a statistical anomaly her final freestyle leg is completely inexplicable. It can't just "can happen" like that. She's just trolling at the head of the pack until the last leg and then she practically explodes out of the pool.

If you watch her face she sees her time, she's worried. She was sandbagging her swim, then went all out and realized at the finish that she should have pulled back. She was coached to win by only a certain margin in order to avoid suspicion, but overshot it badly.

Katie Cunningham said...

As a former college swimmmer I can tell you that without even seeing the race, she is doping. I don't trust the Chinese (and no, not as a race or ethnicity-I dont trust their corrupt, murderous government who obviously forces their athletes to do stuff like this. make no mistake, none of their athletes have a choice in anything they do in their lives) and frankly if they wanted to avoid suspicion they are really failing at being subtle in their cheating.

long time lurker-first time commenter. love this site and Enty!!!

B. Profane said...

I may not know competitive swimming, but I know statistics. China is on pace to double it's all-time Olympic swimming medal count since the 2004 games. That's unreal.

Me said...

no way is this legit. it isn't possible.

remember when the china gymnastics team was stripped of their olympic medal because they violated the age rule?

china will do anything TO WIN. anything.

Gabi said...

Of course the Chinese are doping...it is like Russia and east Germany of old.

I believe in the Olympics they should let the athletes take as many 'roids, performance enhancing drugs and absolutely go for it!! That would be awesome....and we know they are all on the same platform.

besides, the Chinese athletes will all be shot/jailed if they don't bring home the gold.

eastvillagesiren said...

My husband is a former competitive swimmer who went for Jr. Olympics regional tryouts, swimming for 3O+ years, and he was automatically suspicious. At the level she's at you don't make such a huge timing jump. But me, I look to folks who know swimming and what's involved in competition. This is a good article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/30/ye-shiwen-world-record-olympics-2012. Cheers

dia papaya said...

Interesting article about the intensity of athletic training in China...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2181374/Forging-Mandarin-mermaid-David-Jones-reveals-children-taken-families-brutalised-future-Olympians.html

All about Eve said...

Completely agree with you. All this is extremely suspicious.

B. Profane said...

The Chinese swimmers don't look like they're juiced, they're swimming like they've got inhuman cardio reserves. Like they're blood doping. Which they've been nailed for many times.

Mahoney Smithton said...

Did anyone watch the synchronized diving events? I found it highly suspicious that the US teams were doing routines that were equally difficult or harder than the Chinese, yet they kept receiving 9.0 while we only got 8.5. One commenter even said, "I'd be very surprised if they didn't get a 9.0 on this routine." We still got an 8.5.

doctressjulia said...

Of course we all have to be suspicious of her and accuse her of doping... she beat a man.