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Ye Shiwen Steroids Talk Is Plausible, But That's Beside The Point

Ye Shiwen, the breakout star of the 2012 London Olympics, might be taking steroids. She's made remarkable gains in the last year, she's from a country with poorer-than-average—and average is pretty poor—doping standards, and she's a world-record-breaking swimmer, which is probably reason enough for suspicion at this point. Would we be whispering if she were an American? Well, probably not, unless she was a baseball player. But that's more about our love of Americans than our suspicions toward China, I think.

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I also think that all this is beside the point. The problem isn't whether she's doping or not; if she is, she'll fail a test eventually. The problem is that we've allowed the possibility of doping to ruin the fun of watching a 16-year-old girl—she was born a few months before the Summer Olympics in Atlanta—dominate a series of swimming events. We should want to know more about her, her methods, her life, how she's adjusting; we should be running interviews and making action figures and doing whatever else we do with international sports stars.

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Instead, we've gotten bogged down in yet another drug non-scandal. I believe this is called "letting the terrorists win." I understand the desire to never be fooled, but why watch the Olympics if we can't allow ourselves to enjoy it in the moment? If it turns out she was doping down the line, at least we'll have had a fun month.

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