The doping doubts raised over Ye provoked an outcry of wounded national pride among Chinese internet users, while a senior Chinese anti-doping official told the official Xinhua news agency that it was “unfair to point fingers” at swimmers just because they won medals in big events.
“I think it is not proper to single Chinese swimmers out once they produce good results. Some people are just biased,” said Jiang Zhixue, the anti-doping chief of China’s General Administration of Sport. “We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing,” he added.
On Tuesday afternoon, the news of the allegations against Ye ranked as one of the hottest topics on Sina Weibo, China’s leading microblogging site, and attracted more than 1m comments. “The only motive for the western media to attack Ye Shiwen is because she is Chinese!!”, wrote a blogger under the name AC Lao Shen on Sina Weibo.