By Bridget O’Donnell
The Head of the American Swim Coaches Association says Ye Shiwen’s record-breaking swim in the 400-meter individual medley was “impossible” and “disturbing.”
John Leonard, Head of the American Swim Coaches Association, told media yesterday he refuses to back down on his claims that Ye Shiwen’s gold medal swim last Saturday was the result of performance-enhancing drugs.
Following Ye’s record-breaking swim in the 400-meter individual medley, Leonard called Ye’s swim “disturbing,” and noted that her 58.68-second closing lap in the freestyle was “impossible.” (Her final 50 meters in the event were actually a split-second faster than US swimmer Ryan Lochte’s in the men’s event).
Leonard told Yahoo! Sports yesterday:
“If people don’t speak out when they see something suspicious, the public is going to think nonsensical splits were real. Then doping is going to have free reign for anything we don’t know about right now.
It’s an anomaly. Regardless where it comes from – take China’s history completely out of it – an anomaly needs to be pointed out. And it’s the only anomaly of the week.”
That “history” he’s referring to: an series of embarrassing doping scandals that rocked Chinese swimming back in the 90’s.
Meanwhile, Ye took to Weibo yesterday to thank her followers for their support during the Olympics. She wrote:
“Up until today, my performances so far have had satisfactory finishes! I’m really thankful to everyone for the support! Including the Western Media’s questioning! Thanks for standing behind and supporting me!”
According to the BBC, Ye called suspicions about her performance “sour grapes.”