Chinese public and media rallied behind young Chinese swimming sensation Ye Shiwen, accusing the western media of trying to belittle her performances at the London [ Images ] Olympics [ Images ] with unsubstantiated allegation of doping.
The state-run Global Times daily took umbrage over a foreign reporter confronting her with a comment at press conference that Chinese athletes are robots trained to win medals.
"Challenging a young girl with unfriendly language is not something a journalist should be proud of. It is also unfair to Ye," the daily said in its editorial on Wednesday.
Ye set a new World record in the women's 400m individual medley, bagging a gold medal in the London Games.
"The doubts over Ye's breathtaking speed are understandable. Chinese swimmers have been tainted with doping scandals in the past, but Ye passed the doping tests conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
"British Olympic Association Chairman, Lord Moynihan yesterday called for an end to the speculation and for the doubters to recognise Ye's talent," the daily said.
"Negative comments about her and Chinese athletes come from deep bias and reluctance from the Western press to see Chinese people making breakthroughs," the Daily added.
"If Ye were an American, the tone would be different in Western media. Michael Phelps [ Images ] won eight gold medals in the 2008 Games. Nobody seems to question the authenticity of his results, most probably because he is American."
The Chinese public also came out in support of Ye by posting numerous comments in the microblog networks, criticising some of the media remarks against her.
While the Chinese media attacked the western journalists for bias, a Chinese newspaper has apologised to Zhou Jun, the weightlifter for her performance at the London Games.
Commenting on Zhou's failure to lift the starting weight in the 53kg category, the Metropolis Times in Kunming city said it is the most "shameful defeat for Chinese female weightlifters".
However, it apologised to the young Chinese lifter after chided by several of its readers.
"You made it to the stage, you gave it your best and you are already our hero," the daily said in its apology.
Photograph: Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo