The story broke headlines in 2005. Yao Ming was apparently bred for the sport, forced into it from a young age, and subjected to science to increase is height, according to a book released that year called Operation Yao Ming.
The book, written by Newsweek journalist Brook Larmer, raised quite a stir as it claimed Ming underwent years of training as one of hundreds of thousands of Chinese athletes in a boot-camp training regimen. Larmer claims the project to produce super athletes started under the rule of Mao Zedong.
He said of Ming: “Yao on one hand is this great symbol of China's modern advancement, a commercial icon that can stride across the Pacific and play the role of a bridge between East and West... but he's still the product of this system which is one of the last bastions of socialism in China."
Ming’s grandfather was one of Shanghai’s tallest men, so government officials encouraged Ming’s father, Yao Zhiyuan, to immerse himself in sports and marry Fang Fengdi, China’s women’s captain who was a feared Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution.
In a Nazi-esque resemblance, this encouragement of eugenics is allegedly what produced Yao Ming. What do you think? Credible or absurd?