Chinese media reacted angrily to doping accusations swirling around new swimming sensation Ye Shiwen, insisting she is being judged by an “old mentality” and by those who are “petty about the progress China makes.”
The 16-year-old swimmer has won two gold medals at the London Olympics — the individual medley at 200 and 400 meters — and has denied any use of banned drugs.
She was so fast in the last 50 meters of the 400 medley that her time was quicker than that of men’s gold medallist Ryan Lochte over the same leg. U.S. coach John Leonard was quoted in British media as saying Ye’s performances were “unbelievable” and “disturbing.”
On Wednesday, the state-run Global Times responded by saying questions about Ye’s feats were unfair.
“The West still judges China with an old mentality, and is petty about the progress China makes,” the newspaper said in an editorial. That was followed by the state broadcaster CCTV stepping in to support Ye on its noon newscast.
Ye’s father, Ye Qingsong, told Chinese media that Western media are “always arrogant.” Olympic organizers in London also defended the Chinese swimmer.
Ye received support Wednesday from the swimmer who finished second to her in Tuesday’s race, Alicia Coutts of Australia.
“I feel for the poor girl, just to have that speculation weighing on her,” Coutts said. “I believe in innocent until proven guilty.”