Coach Slams Chinese Swimmer's 'Impossible' Time

John Leonard nearly accuses Ye Shiwen of doping
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2012 4:42 PM CDT
China's Ye Shiwen competes in a women's 200-meter individual medley swimming heat at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Monday, July 30, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(Newser) – A Chinese swimmer's stunning world-record time at the Olympics has raised eyebrows—and elicited a pretty clear accusation, reports the Guardian. Ye Shiwen won the gold in the women's 400m individual medley, but her remarkable time of 4:28.43 is "unbelievable" and "impossible," said US swimming coach John Leonard. Ye even beat a gold-medal-winning male swimmer, Ryan Lochte, in her last 50 meters. "It just doesn't happen," Leonard said.

What's more, Ye's times have improved over a rather short period. And she "looks like superwoman," Leonard added. Such cheating would be nothing new: Irish swimmer Michelle Smith tested positive after the 1996 Games, and past Chinese Olympic hopefuls have too. Ye's blood samples will be available for testing for 8 years, giving science a chance to catch up with any possible doping. As for Ye, she said Team China has kept "very firmly to the anti-doping policies, so there is absolutely no problem." (Read more 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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