After Ye Shiwen shocked the Olympics with her performance in the 400 meter individual medley, swimming the last 50 meters faster than Ryan Lochte, the men's champion in the event, a long-time American coach ominously hinted that perhaps a new kind of performance enhancement had arrived on the athletic scene.
"If there is something unusual going on in terms of genetic manipulation or something else, I would suspect over eight years science will move fast enough to catch it," John Leonard, the American executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, said.
It's important to note that there is no evidence that Ye engaged in any doping practice, let alone something as new and high-tech as genetic manipulation.
But, the fact that genetic manipulation was even on the table or in the ether as the example Leonard gave in his accusation is remarkable. So I set out to find out how scientifically plausible it might be for Ye -- or any athlete -- to enhance his or her performance with current gene doping technology.