London - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Tuesday that doping in sports and groundless suspicions over stunning performances are “very sad”.
“You have to remember this is the Olympic Games. We need to get real here – these are the world’s best athletes competing at the highest level with records being broken all over the place,” IOC communications director Mark Adams told a daily press briefing Tuesday.
Adams’ remarks came after doping suspicions went rife surrounding the 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen, who chopped more than a second off the world record to win the gold medal in the women’s 400m individual medley Saturday with a final 50-metre sprint that was faster than American men’s swimming star Ryan Lochte, Xinhua reports.
Asked if he was disappointed about the tendency to suspect world records, Adams added: “We can’t stop speculation.”
“It is inevitably a sad result of the fact that there are people who dope and who cheat, but I equally think it’s very sad if we can’t applaud a great performance. Let’s always give the benefit of the doubt to athletes.”
Adams reiterated that no drug cheats could escape IOC’s ever stricter dope testing regimen.
“We have a very strong drugs testing programme. And we’re very confident that if there are cheats then we will catch them,” Adams said.
So far, 1,706 tests have been carried out, including 1,344 urine tests and 362 blood tests.
Adams said all medal winners are drug-tested and there is no evidence against Ye.
“She is a victor. She is not a doper,” Adams said.
According to IOC regulations, the top-five finishers in each medal event are subject to compulsory testing for drugs.