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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Olympics 2012: Shiwen Ye and the prevailing drug question...why not just test her? (Possible spoiler)

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11273points) July 31st, 2012

(This may contain a spoiler if you have not watched the Olympics yet today—Tuesday, July 31, 2012…so stop reading if you have yet to watch them.)

The big story here is about Shiwen Ye’s huge jump in her swim times (when it should be about another huge happy story——but I won’t spoil it for those in RSA and USA who haven’t watched yet) and the rumour that she may be taking performance enhancing drugs. I don’t understand why there should be a controversy. Aren’t Olympic winners tested afterwards? Is it an automatic test that is administered or not?

I just feel that if there is any question…she should just be tested. That would end the controversy. I am not sure if that is being done. Any thoughts?

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23 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

Have not seen it yet, but I think all Olympic medalists are tested. I am sure the gold medalists will all be tested.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@WestRiverrat….Thanks for giving your input. I guess what I was wondering was if Olympians were tested immediately before and after a final round…or if they are just tested at the beginning of the games and after the games are over. How often are these tests given?

If they are tested immediately before and after a race…then there should not be a controversy. Unless, of course, someone takes something right before a race and after they have been tested. But if there is a test immediately after a race, then that would be caught on the test….yes, no?

I suppose that I can’t quite fathom WHEN they would be taking the drug if they are being monitored closely…anyone have any ideas?

(I realize my answer is a bit of “thinking aloud” here…apologies.)

ucme's avatar

Yeah she’s clean, just another example of the US being sore losers.

marinelife's avatar

She has been tested.

rooeytoo's avatar

I thought they were questioning her sexuality??? I keep hearing it said that she “Swims like a man” whatever that means.

And it’s not just the yanks that are sore losers, how many times has Lance Armstrong been tested and they are still on the “witch hunt” after him.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know this particular case, but watching swimming on Saturday a friend of mine commented on the female swimmers saying they look like men. They do look very testosteroned to me a lot of them. Swimmers have always been broad in the shoulders, but now they seem full of male hormones. I don’t mean they are all drugging, but whatever they are doing seems to promote male hormones, or the women who naturally have high levels win out and make the team maybe? From a pure competitive sense. My aunt actually asked me if I had watched gymnastics saying it was hard for her to watch the American girls, saying their bodies looked so distorted to her. I haven’t had a chance to watch the female gymnastics yet.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t think they look particularly masculine, Stephanie Rice is beautiful and feminine, the big hoopla about Liesel Jones being out of shape is pretty evident by her performance and her matronly hippy physique. I am always intrigued by the lack of muscle definition on female swimmers, males have nice definition the women don’t have any muscle and the way their suits compress and flatten their bosoms, make them squish out at odd places. No I don’t think they look masculine in body shape at all. The Chinese girl sort of reminds me of the French tennis player, Marismo, they both have masculine looking facial structure.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I agree the suits make them look flatter in the breasts, and a little distorted in general. I haven’t seen most of them in every day clothing. My aunt mentioned the gymnasts have large necks, that is a sign of high testosterone. I said that it sounded to me like she was describing them as very stocky, she agreed.

Some female athletes lose their periods as we know due to very low body fat. I wonder if that state over long periods during puberty affects their shape overall? Kind of like how some women with PCOS from a young age have a certain body type, broader shoulders, kind of a square look to their bodies. Not always, but it is a characteristic in enough people with the condition that it is noted.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar


@ucme,...Well I tell you what. I have never, ever, seen a more gracious “loser” than Michael Phelps tonight. I was gobsmacked as he guided the young and apparently overwhelmed Chad Le Clos from South Africa…through the crowds….telling him where to stop for his Gold Medal picture and posing next to him with a big smile. Chad told the BBC that Michael was his “hero” and he was clearly overcome with his win…he never expected to beat Phelps. And Phelps was a true, true gentleman…taking Chad under his wing and being amazingly kind. They may not show this on American television….but we saw it all on the BBC this afternoon. It was a good fifteen minutes or twenty minutes that Phelps and Le Clos were together along with the Japanese swimmer. I was so proud of Phelps…and America should be, too. He is really what the Olympic spirit is all about…not one bit of the prima donna in him at all. Later, in the next race, Phelps was able to win his 18th gold medal…breaking the medal records of all previous athletes. I was more proud of how he handled his loss, than his victory (and he was gracious in winning, too.)

Sorry, but Americans are not sore losers…they can be called a lot of other names, but sore losers…not. I feel that there is a lot of jealousy…because America always manages to bring it all to the table. I remember the Olympics when Americans rarely medaled or medaled in only one or two sports. They were always being beaten by the Germans or the Russians. I know how hard the Americans have worked over the years to become true contenders in the games…but it has not always been that way. In this media-driven world and spin…often the past is eradicated. The Americans were often not the team to beat.

And let’s face facts here….the Chinese have their own system and some of it is disturbing, especially how they train children from early childhood. link

I wonder if I was a young athlete…and knew I was swimming for my freedom….if I wouldn’t break some world records, too. (And by “freedom”, I mean a guaranteed easier life as an Olympic champion in China…via the largesse of its government.) I hate to think what happens to the poor kids that lose.

JLeslie's avatar

To be clear, I am not talking about the Amwrican swimmers, I am not sure which swimmers it was.

@DarlingRhadamanthus That’s wonderful to hear. I love that Phelps was so gracious. That is a pay it forward moment. Maybe someone had done it for Phelps, hopefully Le Clos will do it one day for someone else.

My same friend who commented on the swimmers, she is Russian, been in the states for about 7 years. The conversation turned to how we in America years ago used to talk about the unfairness for our athletes that America did not pay for the training, that communist Russia basically supported the olympians like it was their job. I assume most of the communist countries did the same. She had no idea. I mean we had to explain a few times, “no, our government does not help the athletes, any help is through private donations, and families sacrificing for their children to compete.” I think in the past Americans argued this put us at a disadvantage. I seem to remember when I was in my teens we changed it from non professionals ony being able to comete to allowing professionals in the sport. Not sure if I am right about that?

ucme's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Nothing of that diatribe you just spewed out has anything to do with what I said, I was referring to the US coach who protested against the Chinese swimmer in the first place, ergo….sore losers!!
As cliche ridden & yet enjoyable as your post was, it’s rendered completely invalid by my original intent.

jca's avatar

I think the thoughts may be that there are performance enhancing drugs that are so new that they are undetectable with the tests available. So maybe she (they) are taking them and nobody knows it because they’re tested and the tests come up negative. That a 16 year old female swimmer swam faster than the fastest man is amazing (did I hear that one correctly?).

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I also meant to mention that I think swimming is harder to get very muscular because of the lack of impact. So, they don’t bulk up the same way as say a gymnast, but they still are very lean. That’s my assumption with what little I know about muscle.

ucme's avatar

She swam her freestyle 50m leg in a faster time than Ryan Lochte did in the medley event.
Pretty fantastic going, she’s obviously very, very talented, good luck to her I say.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – I figured it was because they are like seals, need a layer of body fat to keep them warm. The males though don’t seem to have that no shape type body, they do have definition and I saw a pic of the young Chinese girl in question and she too had some definition to her biceps, maybe that is her secret, she is doing some weight training.

Guess her momma didn’t tell her that girls can’t swim as fast as boys! Go mamma and daughter!

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo Unless they swim in lakes and oceans, I don’t see how that would come into play. These swimmers practice in temperature regulated pools. Most often they complain the water is too warm if they have to share the pools with non-lapswimmers.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – it was a joke! I think in reality the idea of being able to propel yourself through the water faster if you have just a tad of muscle hasn’t hit women’s swimming yet. Probably still some male coach telling them boys don’t like girls who have muscles.

Brian1946's avatar


Probably still some male coach telling them boys don’t like girls who have muscles.

Could be that, or just some female athletes are still partially acquiescing to what they perceive as an extant general male attitude.

I just Googled some images of the current Olympic female swimmers, and apparently they have greater deltoid development compared to Shirley Babashoff, who won several swimming medals in the 1976 Olympics. Apparently the number of women burdened by this perception is apparently shrinking, and will hopefully continue to do so.

Personally, I find steroid-free muscular women (not that muscular women necessarily use steroids or HGH’s) to be very appealing.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Brian1946 well good for you, now if you could just convince the beach volleyball fans that women athletes should be admired for their prowess not their bikinis. And yes I agree it is acquiescing to what the male dominated culture has been telling them for thousands of years. This year the Americans have sent more female athletes to the olympics than males, now we will probably hear some sort of backlash as we are regarding females excelling at academics instead of taking a back seat to males.

And I did mention that the Chinese woman does have nice definition in her biceps but it is the exception rather than the rule.

In Australia the females are winning more medals than the males despite the fact that the men flew first class and the women economy. This too will cause much consternation, because it’s bound to give those damned women uppity ideas about their place in this world!

JLeslie's avatar

Plus the fact that muscle sinks to the bottom. Hahaha. I float so much better now that I have put on weight compared to when I was young and trim.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@ucme…You attacked the Americans…and that was okay? Not okay. Here is what you wrote: Yeah she’s clean, just another example of the US being sore losers. Then, in your second posting, you attacked me.

That was typically a very nasty thing to say about “all Americans”. The Brits love taking potshots at Americans, because it’s the only group on earth that it is “politically correct” to lampoon. Not at all in the interest of “fair play” is it? You said “the US” the whole of the United States…are sore losers. Well, let me remind you that these “sore losers” came to the aid of GB when it was in its darkest hour. The Americans may be ridiculous and cliched and OTT, but most (most not all) love, love, love (crazily love and stupidly love) the British and many Brits (like you, not all Brits) deride them behind their backs constantly. That’s the dirty little secret that most Americans do not know.

If one American coach said that…that was not ALL AMERICANS. Not ALL Americans are sore losers. And there was nothing that I said that came close to a diatribe. You just threw a very nasty volley to ALL AMERICANS….then you backpedalled and mentioned “one American coach”. Nice, eh? So , it was one American coach right?

And by the way…you attacked me, too. I didn’t write what I said against you, I was defending Americans. Cliched? Funny how saying nice things about Michael Phelps and the American spirit is considered “cliched” by you. Being eye-rolling rude toward Americans is what? Oh, wait, it must be clever. (Uh, hardly.)

One coach on the American team…is not all the population of the US.

I am not coming back to this thread…I like playing fair and being nice…as cliched as that may seem to you. Now, I am going to have my cliched tea and watch the cliched Olympics and read my cliched British novels and live my cliched British country life in my cliched British country house and cheer “with great cliche” the British teams and the American teams…and the many underdogs who overcome great obstacles to be where they are in the Games…from every team.

(Now this was closer to a diatribe and I deliver it with relish.)

Lurve coming to all (almost all) and I am out of here.

Thanks (to everyone else) for your comments.

ucme's avatar


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