In this day and age, doping has become one of the biggest problems in sports, destroying the legitimacy of the game like no other. For the 2012 Olympic Games, all the athletes are tested rigorously, to make sure that they are not using performance enhancing drugs to improve their already amazing ability and strength. Some of the athletes have already been disqualified for doping before the games even started, diminishing their chance to compete, and startlingly, there also have been some that have actually competed in the official games that have been banned this year, and possibly in 2016 for the next Olympics. But there are those “clean” and genuine athletes that the media dissects and exploits their extraordinary talent, stating that they are cheaters and must have taken drugs to have completed such a feat as to winning the prized gold medal and beating record after record.
Recently, countless news programs have accused the 16-year old swimming prodigy, Ye Shiwen, of the Chinese swimming team, of taking performance-enhancing drugs after she broke a world record and won a gold medal in the 400m individual medley. With astonishing speed and ability, she completed the last 50m faster than the men’s champion, startling coaches and commentators around the world. There are many skeptics, that know the sport from head to toe, doubting the amazing skills of someone so young and say it has to be dope that prompted this performance. U.S’s swimming coach John Leonard was astonished and even identified her performance as “disturbing”, stating 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.” Her routine reminded him of a similar performance by the East German women swimmers in the 1980 Olympic Games who were doping frequently. In the past, the Chinese swimming team has not been totally clean from drugs, having had several of their men swimmers disqualified from the 1994 Asian games, but does this mean that Yi Shiwen made the unwise decision to dope like her processors. Just because she is of such young age and her abilities exceed most of her competitors, it does not make it true that she doped. Every athlete in the games gets tested for almost every performance-enhancing drug known to man and her results came back negative for them all. This is what Shiwen had to say about the accusations, “My results come from hard work and training and I would never use any banned drugs. The Chinese people have clean hands.” There are very few human beings in this world even as young as Shiwen, gifted with extraordinary, almost “super human” abilities, and she is one of them. Yes, in the past, there have been athletes who have accomplished feats like no other all because of doping but it doesn’t mean they all do. The media is always so quick to accuse someone of this and label them as a cheater. There is genuine, uncontaminated talent in a very few exceptional individuals, like Yi Shiwen, and the world, and the media has to accept that fact.
“Chinese Olympic Swimmer Ye Shiwen Denies Doping”. BBC News. BBC 2012. 31 July 2012. Web. 1 Aug. 2012.
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