Ye Shiwen row: IOC says it will catch Olympics drugs cheats

  • 31 July 2012
  • From the section UK
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Media captionIOC's Mark Adams: "We have a very strong drugs testing programme. If there are cheats then we will catch them."

Olympic organisers have said their drug testing programme is strong and "if there are cheats, we will catch them".

Doubts were raised over the performance of Chinese gold medallist Ye Shiwen but she said she would never use banned substances and British Olympics chief Lord Moynihan said she was "clean".

Ahead of the start of athletics, GB's track and field team flew into the UK from a training camp in Portugal.

Britain's equestrian team won a silver medal in the eventing competition.

Germany took gold in the contest at Greenwich Park.

The GB team of Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Zara Phillips and Nicola Wilson won Britain's fourth medal of the Games so far.

Phillips' mother, the Princess Royal - President of the British Olympic Association, who herself competed in the same event in the 1976 Montreal Olympics - later presented the eventing teams with their medals.

GB won eventing silver in the 2004 Athens games and bronze in 2008.

Image caption More than two million fans watched the first two days of the Games

In other developments:

Ye Shiwen took seconds off her personal best to break the world record and win a gold medal in the 400m medley on Saturday, swimming faster in the last 50m than the winner of the men's event.

US coach John Leonard - the executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association - said her performance was "unbelievable" and "disturbing".

But there is no evidence against her and all medal winners are drug-tested.

Ye Shiwen herself said: "There is no problem with doping. The Chinese team has a firm policy so there is no problem with that."

And in response to the questions, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said London 2012 has "some of the most rigorous, if not the most rigorous, anti-doping procedures in place for any Olympics".

At a news conference, British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan said the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) was "on top of the game... Ye Shiwen deserves recognition for her talent".

International Olympic Committee communications director Mark Adams told a separate news conference: "We have a very strong drugs testing programme. And we're very confident that if there are cheats then we will catch them."

Image caption Ye Shiwen will seek her second gold medal later

Mr Adams said that before the Olympics began the IOC had issued one suspension and one temporary suspension.

He said there had been 1,706 tests so far, of which 1,344 were urine and 362 were blood.

The first five athletes are tested automatically and then two others at random, he said.

Mr Adams said the public should not be surprised if they saw big performances.

"We need to get real here here - these are the world's best athletes competing at the highest level with records being broken all over the place," he said.

More tickets released

Amid an ongoing row over empty seats at venues, Olympics organisers Locog said more than two million spectators had turned out to watch the first three days of the Games - but that meant attendance had dropped below 90% on two of those three days.

Locog says 856,000 people attended on Saturday - 86% of capacity - including a "conservative" crowd estimate for the men's cycling road race of 500,000.

On Sunday, 900,000 attended (92% of capacity), including 300,000 for the women's cycling road race.

There was an attendance of 370,000 across all sports (88% of capacity) on Monday.

Locog put 3,800 extra unused "accredited" seats on sale on Monday night across 30 sessions and 15 sports. Almost all sold out, Locog said.

It follows criticism over empty seats which had been allocated to sports federations.

Locog communications director Jackie Brock-Doyle said the process of selling unused tickets would continue to take place on a day-by-day basis.

The tickets can be bought only online, before they are picked up at collection points in venues for pre-purchased tickets. In a further announcement, Locog said fans will now be able to print their tickets at home after buying them online.

BBC Olympics correspondent James Pearce says the best advice on securing seats is to stay up late because tickets are being put on the London 2012 ticketing site late at night or early in the morning.

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