China's Ye Shiwen: Her last 50 meters in the 400 meter individual
medley topped men's world record holder, American Ryan Lochte,
raising eyebrows and questions about whether China's infamous
doling past has returned. China's reaction has been a strong one.
Western Bais Against 'Chinese Talent' Behind
Ye Shiwen Doping Claims (Global Times, People's Republic of China)
Is there a reluctance in the West to see Chinese athletes and
people in general make 'breakthroughs'? According to this editorial from
China's state-run Global Times, charges
first made by an American coach that 16-year-old swimming phenom Ye Shiwen may
have used performance enhancing drugs is a result of long-held Western
stereotypes that no longer have any relevance.
Could China's 16-year-old Ye Shiwen beat men's world record holder in the 400 meter individual medley Ryan Lochte? Ye was in fact faster than Lochte in the final 50 meters of her gold-medal-winning lap of the medley, bringing suggestions from an American coach and others that it seems impossible.
Young Chinese swimming star Ye Shiwen set a new world record
in the women's 400 meter individual medley, scooping up Olympic gold at the
London Games. Her achievement, however, has been met with suspicion and
derision from Western commentators.
During one interview, a reporter directly confronted her with
the allegation that Chinese athletes are "robots trained to win medals."
Challenging a young girl with such unfriendly language is not something a
journalist should be proud of - and it is unfair to Ye.
Doubts over Ye's breathtaking speed are understandable.
Chinese swimmers have in the past been tainted with doping scandals, but Ye
passed all the doping tests conducted by the World Anti-Doping
Agency. On Tuesday, British Olympic Association Chairman Lord Moynihan called
for an end to the speculation and for doubters to recognize Ye's talent.
Negative comments being made about her other Chinese
athletes are a result of a deep bias and a reluctance on the part of the
Western press to see Chinese people make breakthroughs.
If Ye were an American, the tone in Western media would be
different. Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in the 2008 Games. Yet no one
seems to question the authenticity of his results, most likely because he is
Sports talents emerge at every Olympic Games, but few have
experienced what Ye has. More than Ye's world record, it is the abnormal media
reaction that should be questioned. It is a reflection of the fact that Western
unfriendliness toward China is spreading.
The West targets China's system and demonizes China's most talented
people. The West continues to judge China based on old stereotypes, and is
petty about any progress China makes. If Ye were found to be doping, she would
be severely criticized by Chinese media - not just the foreign press.
China is no longer a society that devotes everything to
national honor. The sports sector has already come under powerful domestic
scrutiny. Being Chinese, especially when one strives to set world records, one must
be prepared to confront questions from the West.
China's rapid growth is a result of the combined progress of
every individual. The country's growing influence in turn redounds to further
exploration in every field on the part of the Chinese people.
Ye may not be the last Chinese to have this experience. As
Chinese competition with the West is growing, more incidents of this kind will occur.
But it's no big deal. Doubts will eventually subside.