Immediately after Ye's performance doubt had crept in about whether or not she may have cheated through the use of performance enhancing drugs, or other methods such as blood doping or the use of human growth hormones.
Olympic officials tested Ye (as they do all medal winners) and she passed her tests. And while many people expressed doubts about her performance, many athletes (including American swimmer Michael Phelps) jumped to her defense, saying that it was a shame that her performance was marred by speculation regarding cheating.
So why the speculation? Well, Chinese athletes have cheated or have been suspected of cheating in the past. In the 1990s Chinese swimmers came out of nowhere to achieve a great deal of success; only to be discovered that many of them used performance enhancing drugs.
In 2008 a few of China's gymnasts looked younger than the 16 year old minimum age (or 15 if a competitor will turn 16 during the year of the Olympics). To be honest, when I watched the 2008 Beijing games I thought that there was NO WAY some of those girls were the age they claimed to be.
Reputation is a powerful thing isn't it? I've often heard it said that it takes a lifetime to develop and a moment to destroy.
By all accounts Ye Shiwen is simply a swimming prodigy that took her God-given gifts, combined it with hard work, sacrifice and dedication and achieved spectacular results. Yet, because of the actions of some of the people who preceded her, her achievements are clouded with thoughts of "I wonder if she..."
Chinese officials have balked at the criticisms levied at their athletes, yet in many ways the Chinese authorities may have brought some of it on themselves with their past actions. There was cheating in the past, so some people (in the interest if fairness I was one of them!) assumed that Ye Shiwen's amazing performance had to have been fueled by cheating as well.
Now it's your turn: what is your reputation? Is it working for you or against you?