- Title: CHINA: OLYMPICS: Chinese support Olympic swimmer Ye Shiwen.
- Date: 1st August 2012
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SWIMMING AT POOL
- Embargoed: 16th August 2012 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA9JCEXEX94UXFPXZ11H2IH3XQG
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Beijing residents throw their support behind controversial Olympic swimming champion Ye Shiwen, as state media reports the Chinese national team says its athletes are clean.
The Chinese public rejected suggestions by an American coach that doping might be behind the astonishing performance of Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen.
The 16-year-old took her second gold in Tuesday's (July 31) 200 metres individual medley final after her world record triumph in the 400 medley on Saturday (July 28).
Chinese newspaper "Titan Weekly" (pron: Tee-tan) on Wednesday (August 1) declared Ye to be "Chinese People's Dose of Excitement."
The controversy surrounded a comment made by the executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, John Leonard.
Leonard, an American, suggested to Britain's Guardian newspaper that doping could have been involved in Ye's world record-breaking performance.
The U.S. team on Tuesday (July 31) stepped back from the comments, saying Leonard was not associated in any way with the country's swimming or Olympic team.
In Beijing, the public voiced support for their top swimmers.
A seven-year-old girl said she drew inspiration from Ye, as well as Sun Yang, the first Chinese male swimmer to snatch an Olympic gold in history.
"I like swimming. I want to be like big brother Sun Yang and big sister Ye Shiwen and go to the Olympics. I am very jealous of them," seven-year-old girl Wang Jiayin said.
Others expressed their indignation over the accusations.
"We feel very angry that a small number of people in the west would say this about young Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen. They are being so irresponsible. Our young girl relied on her perseverance and talent to gain glory for the country and win the race. We are very angry over what certain people in the west said. Also, I hope in the future they speak responsibly to China, to the world, to every country, and that they will be responsible also to the athletes," 50-year-old Beijing resident Chen Ling said.
State television CCTV devoted five minutes in its morning bulletin to the reports of drug allegations surrounding Ye.
"The Chinese national team said indicated that the Chinese national team has already taken over 100 steroid tests, so far no problem has been found. The Chinese national team said, if people draw links to steroids whenever there are excellent results, this would be unfair to the athletes," announced a CCTV anchor.
China currently tops the Olympic medal tally at 13 gold.
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