TOKYO — After dropping to Russian swimmers in two races at the Olympics, American backstroke star Ryan Murphy stated Friday that doping stays a huge problem within the sport and he wonders if all his rivals are clear.
Seeming to take goal at a rustic that has repeatedly run afoul of doping guidelines, Murphy revealed his frustration after taking the silver medal behind Evgeny Rylov within the 200-meter backstroke.
That got here three days after Murphy — who swept the backstroke occasions at the 2016 Rio Games — settled for a bronze within the 100 again. In that race, he touched after each Rylov and one other Russian, Kliment Kolesnikov.
“It is a huge mental drain on me to hear I’m swimming in a race that’s probably not clean,” Murphy stated. “That is what it is.”
But later, at a information convention with fellow medalists Rylov and third-place finisher Luke Greenbank of Britain, Murphy stated he was not accusing the Russian of doping.
“I need to be clear,” he stated. “My intention is not to make any allegations here. Congratulations to Evgeny, congratulations to Luke. They both did an incredible job. They’re both very talented swimmers. They both train real hard and they’ve got great technique.”
Rylov, who has lengthy been one of many world’s prime backstrokers, denied being concerned in any doping schemes.
“I have always been for clean competition,” he stated by means of a translator. “I’m tested. I fill out all the forms. I’m for clean sport. I’ve been devoting my whole life to this (sport).”
Rylov didn’t really feel like he was the goal of Murphy’s frustration, even after beating him twice in Tokyo. The Russian is a two-time world champion within the 200 again, and he additionally pulled off a 100-200 sweep at the 2019 championships.
“Ryan has all the right to think the way he does and say what he does,” Rylov stated. “He did not accuse me of anything. That’s why I don’t have anything against him.”
Russia has been essentially the most outstanding goal of the anti-doping motion after revelations that it launched a large state-sponsored program to elude testers forward of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
The nation was pressured to ship depleted squads to the final two Olympics, and people who did compete at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games had been known as OAR — Olympic Athletes From Russia.
Then, simply when Russia seemed to be patching up its relationship with the remainder of the world, extra anomalies emerged from the information at Moscow’s anti-doping lab.
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Investigators from the World Anti-Doping Agency discovered proof had been deleted and spurious info added, together with pretend messages designed to tarnish the identify of WADA’s star witness, former lab director Grigory Rodchenkov.
The new revelations resulted in a four-year sanction in opposition to the nation, however Russia denied any wrongdoing and the penalty was lower in half by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Most Russian athletes were allowed to compete at Tokyo, regardless that they formally signify the Russian Olympic Committee — not their nation.
Critics have identified that the punishment lacks any actual chunk, since Russian groups are carrying full nationwide colours. Their flag is banned and their nationwide anthem can’t be performed throughout medal ceremonies, however they do get music from Russian composer Tchaikovsky.
Two Russian swimmers, Alexandr Kudashev and Veronika Andrusenko, had been initially banned from competing in Tokyo by world governing physique FINA due to proof gathered from the Moscow lab.
But, simply days earlier than the opening ceremony, CAS cleared both swimmers to participate within the Olympics.
Andrusenko has competed in 4 occasions at Tokyo, whereas Kudashev took half in two races. Neither received a medal.
After his victory within the 200 particular person medley, China’s Wang Shun was requested concerning the doping problem. His nation’s swimmers had been concerned in a massing doping scandal within the Nineties, and China’s best-known swimmer, Sun Yang, was banned from the Tokyo Games due to a doping violation.
“The Chinese are against doping,” Wang stated by means of a translator. “We adopt a zero tolerance towards that.”
Asked if the penalties in opposition to the Russians had been ample, Murphy stated, “When I’m asked a question like that, I’ve got like 15 different thoughts — and 13 of them would get me into a lot of trouble.”
“I do believe there’s doping in swimming,” he added.