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London Olympics: Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen dismisses doping rumors

Ye Shiwen of China competes in the 200-meter individual medley on Monday.
(Adam Pretty / Getty Images)

LONDON — Ye Shiwen, the teenage phenom of the Chinese swim team, denied suggestions that she might have used performance-enhancing substances.

“There’s absolutely no problem with the doping,” Ye said on Monday, according to a translation provided by the official Olympic News Service. “The Chinese team has always had a firm policy about doping.”

On Saturday, the 16-year-old Ye set a world record in winning the women’s 400-meter individual medley. She swam the final 25 meters of her race faster than Ryan Lochte swam the final 25 meters in winning gold in the men’s 400 IM.

On Monday, she posted the fastest qualifying time in the 200 IM, in 2 minutes 8.90 seconds, the best time in the world this year. Ye finished a second and a half faster than the runner-up, with the second through fifth place finishers bunched within three-tenths of a second.

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The semifinals of the event are set for Monday night, with the finals on Tuesday.

Ariana Kukors of the United States, who holds the world record in the event, said she had taken notice of Ye and her amazingly strong finishes.

“I’m very much looking forward to racing her,” Kukors said. “I’ll be on the lookout for her last 50.”

Caitlin Leverenz, the other U.S. entrant in the event, is well aware that the final leg of the IM — the freestyle — is her weakness and Ye’s strength.

“I know she knows she’ll be coming after me in the last 50,” Leverenz said.

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