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China medals surge despite doping claim

india Updated: Jul 31, 2012 09:23 IST

China's record-breaking swim prodigy Ye Shiwen hit back against doping claims as her team surged ahead on the London Olympics medals table.

China's divers and men's gymnasts, and weightlifter Li Xueying, made it a golden day for the ex-hosts as they reached nine titles on day three, four ahead of nearest rivals the United States.

British media voiced concerns over schoolgirl Ye, 16, after she smashed the 400m individual medley world record with a final freestyle leg that was quicker than US winner Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps in the men's race.

"Insane," commented Australia's Stephanie Rice, who set the previous record at the Beijing Olympics, while The Times called Ye's swim "scarcely credible".

Ye was again lightning-quick in Monday's 200m individual medley heats and semi-finals, when she clocked the two fastest times this year.

But the Zhejiang youngster, who announced herself on the global stage with the 200m medley world title last year, flatly dismissed the allegations.

"There is no problem with doping, the Chinese team has a firm policy so there is no problem with that," she said.

Arne Ljungqvist, medical commission chief for the International Olympic Committee, said it was "sad" that Ye's performances had been called into question.

"For me, it is very sad that an unexpected performance is surrounded by suspicions," he said.

"I mean to raise suspicion immediately when you see an extraordinary performance -- to me it is against the fascination of sport."