Chinese swimmer angrily denies performance-enhancing drug use; throws car at journalist

3 Aug

LONDON—Ye Shiwen, the 16-year-old Chinese swimmer who shattered the women’s 400m individual-medley world record, today angrily denied ever having used performance-enhancing drugs, picking up a Toyota Camry and hurling it across the room at a journalist who had asked repeated questions about steroids.

“Let me be very clear,” said Shiwen, “I have never used unapproved drugs of any kind, and there is no evidence to the contrary.” She then tore the platform at the press center out of its concrete moorings, bent the steel underpinnings in half, and burst through a brick wall on the way out of the building.

John Leonard, the American coach who had originally aired suspicions about Shiwen’s record-breaking performance, shrugged when told of Shiwen’s rebuttal. “Okay, if she says she’s clean, I guess I have to believe her,” he said.

Suspicions were originally raised when Shiwen not only won the medley decisively but outpaced the men’s gold medallist, Ryan Lochte, in the final freestyle leg. She also then ripped a two-ton slab of concrete out of the side of the pool, lifted it over her head, and threw it forty yards at the eventual silver medallist, who was twenty seconds behind her in the pool.

“I just don’t understand the source of all this suspicion,” said Shiwen’s coach. “Ye is a good kid and a good citizen. When we got stuck in traffic on the way to the venue, she picked up the bus and carried it along the sidewalk to the venue. She’s always helping out like that.”

To some, the growing scandal brought to mind the many scandals facing Eastern European athletes in the 1980s. In the most notorious incident, female shotput champion Karlotta Jung was stripped of her gold medal after she was revealed to be the entire rock band Kraftwerk in disguise.

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