Catch-Up: Why The Past Two Weeks Have Marked A Watershed For World Sport

Qing Wenyi's death raised issues of child protection in elite sport, while WADA's IC published a report that highlighted the failings of Russia, the IAAF … and even FINA

Catch-Up: two weeks that gave a strong hint of the reshaping of sports governance that will, ultimately, be unavoidable

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Catch-Up: two weeks that gave a strong hint of the reshaping of sports governance that will, ultimately, be unavoidable



The Swimswam’s article about Qing’s makes the reference to swimvortex as
“That mystery surrounding the cause of death has led both The Daily Mail and SwimVortex to report that Qing’s parents were allegedly pressured to forgo an autopsy, both quoting anonymous sources”.
Is it an established fact already? How reliable is this source?

Craig Lord

Tautology, Yozhik: sources do indeed tend to be anonymous … and I love the caution of that other website full of the most un-cautious comments, in the frame of the laws we must observe, you will find anywhere in swimming coverage 🙂 Being serious, the source is impeccable.
And no, we will not be revealing who those sources are – for their own protection. The questions are: has there been a denial from China; has there been an autopsy result from China; has there been any coroner’s report and an explanation of what caused this sudden death of a young, fit national youth champion? Those are the questions journalists ask. For this to be converted to ‘fact’ would take the imposition of an American expectation on a Chinese circumstance: that is unrealistic – in the extreme. This is a swim community in a country that has – and we know this to be a fact – been overwhelmed by its doping rogues and failed to keep the rogues off the deck and out of the call room even DURING their ‘lifetime’, ‘eight-year’ and ‘one-year’ suspension periods. That is not supposition but fact, confirmed by the same level of evidence that caught Dr Ba Zhen on the pool side with Sun Yang during his suspension period at the Asian Games last year. We will continue to work with our sources: it is how bad things come to be exposed. I have done so for the best part of 30 years and, hand on heart, I have yet to have a trusted source who did not tell me the truth of a matter than did indeed turn out to be what was being alleged. With China, confirming the fact of what people in the china swim community are saying, is impossible beyond taking them at their word. There is no ministry to call and ask if we can see the coriander’s report. (In Britain, as media, I could do that and stand a high chance of being provided with the material required to confirm facts – especially if a 17-year-old national youth champion died on an official training camp)



Richard Alexander

Thank you for continuing to report on such important issues.

Terribly sad that these issues are being swept under the rug.

I must say, a seventeen year old “crying out and dying” weeks after passing a medical examination by a physician (presumably including cardiovascular exam and investigations) makes me far more suspicious of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm (subarachnoid hemorrhage). The crying out (sudden onset thunder-clap headache) being the tip. Generally fatal arrhythmias in athletes (often HOCM, WPW etc.) will present as sudden syncope secondary to Vtach cardiac arrest, often with little to no warning.

A quick neurologic assessment should have been done immediately and would have given a lot of answers without the requirement of an autopsy, if there are cultural issues with a formal autopsy.

Sad regardless, but for the sake of our sport, i am hopeful this is a freak event like a brain bleed entirely unrelated to potential doping etc..

Craig Lord

Thank you Richard. As you suggest, we will never know unless a full investigation was undertaken as soon after death as possible. What appears to have happened is that this teenage athlete was cremated as soon as possible. If that is indeed the case; and no autopsy was performed in a nation that does (by the accounts being told to me) indeed turn to autopsy on many occasions beyond the realms of elite sport and a training camp for you folk, then we are left wondering why the authorities in China did not reach for what appears to be obvious to a great many people outside China – and according to my sources – in it.

Tabo To

Craig, below is the link of about the news of Qing’ s death.
In the 4th paragraph, it reported that” According to the wishes of her family for letting her daughter to rest in peace as soon as possible, there will be no autopsy and cremation will be conducted as soon as possible. 11 November will be the date for Qing to “say goodbye” to her beloved family and swimming pool.”
I hope this can help you. Maybe you can find someone to translate the news into English for you again to avoid any misinterpretation.

Craig Lord

Many thanks Tabo To.

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