HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » 'Nature' Apologizes to Sw...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 11:32 PM

'Nature' Apologizes to Swimmer Ye Shiwen for Controversial Article

Nature Apologizes to Swimmer Ye Shiwen for Controversial Article

....The article titled Why great Olympic feats raise suspicions was published on Nature's website on August 1, which says that Ye's gold-winning performance is "anomalous" and implies that her clean drug test during competition can't rule out the possibility of doping.

...Nature's article has been criticized by many scientists, who are the major readers of the journal.

Lai Jiang, a researcher in Pennsylvanian University, commented on the journal's website that the article is so scientifically wrong that it "is a textbook example of what we call 'cherry pick your data'".

Chinese scientists have signed on an open letter to challenge the Nature article.

http://www.bjreview.com.cn/headline/txt/2012-08/07/content_473740.htm


Science journal apologises over Ye controversy
After initially standing by article taken as backing doping accusation against swimming sensation, Nature admits data error


....."We also regret that the original story included an error about the improvement in Ye's time for the 400-metre individual medley: she improved by 7 seconds since July 2011, not July 2012."

...The author of the article has been criticised for cherry-picking data. Ewen Callaway, a reporter who covers biomedical issues, called Ye's performance at the Olympic Games "anomalous" because she posted a time more than seven seconds faster than at her last major event.

In response to the claim, an associate professor at the University of Kansas, Jun Huan, examined data on more than 2,600 swimmers, covering more than 40,000 performance records between 2007 and 2012. He reached a different conclusion from Callaway.

"For example Stephanie Rice, the 2008 Beijing Olympic 400-metre individual medley gold medallist, improved her performance from the 2007 World Championship to the 2008 Olympic by about 12 seconds. In another example, Kirsty Coventry, the 2008 Beijing Olympic 400-metre individual medley silver medal winner, improved her from the 2007 All-Africa Games to the 2008 Olympic by about 10 seconds," Dr Huan wrote on his website. "We have found half a dozen cases where elite 400-metre individual medley athletes have more than a seven-second performance boost in a year."

Lai Jiang , a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania's chemistry department, criticised the comparison of Ryan Lochte's last 50 metres to Ye's as a "textbook example of 'cherry-picking' your data". "Failing to mention this strategic difference, as well as the fact that Lochte is 23.25 seconds faster (4:05.18) than Ye overall, creates the illusion that a woman swam faster than the best man in the same sport," he wrote online.

More than 1,000 Chinese researchers and students signed a letter to Nature demanding it apologise.
http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2af62ecb329d3d7733492d9253a0a0a0/?vgnextoid=8ffb213fff109310VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&ss=London+Olympics&s=Sport

9 replies, 3304 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply 'Nature' Apologizes to Swimmer Ye Shiwen for Controversial Article (Original post)
Prometheus Bound Aug 2012 OP
jberryhill Aug 2012 #1
dballance Aug 2012 #2
cthulu2016 Aug 2012 #3
ytcy1 Aug 2012 #7
linnil Aug 2012 #9
mathematic Aug 2012 #4
Prometheus Bound Aug 2012 #5
IgnoranceBrewBigotry Aug 2012 #6
mathematic Aug 2012 #8

Response to Prometheus Bound (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 11:41 PM

1. Yay! She win!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Prometheus Bound (Original post)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 01:25 AM

2. Well, Not being a cute, petite girl from the US or UK does have a price doesn't it?

Of course she must have done something unethical to win - right?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dballance (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 02:08 AM

3. Invoking racism to explain something that needs no such explanation trivializes racism.

The Chinese olympic team, and the Chinese swimming program in particular, has a bad history of cheating.

That's not anti-Asian racism, it is skepticism of the Chinese olympics program. In specific. Not Japan, not South Korea... China.

Forty Chinese swimmers have been found to be using banned drugs.

China had a very petite and very cute girl in the last Olympics who turned out to be four years younger than they claimed she was, and totally ineligible to be on the team.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #3)


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #3)


Response to Prometheus Bound (Original post)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 02:35 AM

4. Talk about cherry picking data...

Stephanie Rice and Kirsty Coventry both swam in the LZR Racer, introduced in 2008, a swimsuit now banned from competition due its performance benefits. It's fairly convenient that the professor's analysis starts the year before the new suits were introduced.

Do people really not know that so many of those records that were broken in '08-'09 were due to technological improvements to the swimsuits?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mathematic (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 06:15 AM

5. I didn't know that. Thanks for that background.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mathematic (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 09:09 PM

6. Fact vs. fabrication

Stephanie Rice competed in 2007 already wearing LDR Racer. http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/fanguide/athlete?athlete=105094

Talking about unfounded accusation!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to IgnoranceBrewBigotry (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 10:43 PM

8. You are misreading your link

The LZR Racer was released in Feb 2008:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZR_Racer
http://www.speedo.com/speedo_brand/insidespeedo/history/index.html

Your link says
"Going into the {Australian Olympic} qualifiers with bronze medals from the 2007 worlds over both distances, Rice was part of the Speedo sensation. That is to say she was wearing the new outfit, the LZR bodysuit, by the Australian swimwear company that has come under scrutiny due to a tidal wave of world records set by swimmers wearing it."

She was wearing the LZR Racer at the Australian qualifiers, not at the 2007 World Championships. The Australian qualifiers were held in March 2008.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Australian_Swimming_Championships

So you see, the research by Jun Huan is flawed. Sorry Dr. Huan! This just highlights the importance of a little domain knowledge in understanding data.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread