Birth of doping: Russian Olympic Committee responds after American swimmer questions whether gold medalist was “100% clean”

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Murphy, who was the reigning Olympic champion in the 100m and 200m backstroke, won bronze in the 100m and silver in the 200m, while Rylov won gold in both.

Shortly after Friday’s 200m final, a reporter asked Murphy if he had any doping concerns in his races.

“I have 15 thoughts, 13 of them would cause me a lot of trouble,” Murphy said.

“It is what it is. I try not to get dragged into this. It is a huge mental exhaustion for me all year round, that I swim in a race that is not probably not clean and that is what it is, ”the American added.

Murphy (left), Rylov (middle) and Greenbank (right) pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's 200 backstroke final.
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The International Testing Agency (ITA) told CNN on Friday that it had so far collected more than 3,000 samples from more than 2,000 athletes as part of the Tokyo 2020 anti-doping program. So far, it there were no “adverse findings”, according to the ITA.

Russian athletes do not compete under their national name in the Olympics due to persistent doping sanctions. These sanctions are still in place for the widespread use of a state-sponsored doping program that was discovered in 2016.

This means that Russian athletes are officially recognized as members of the ROC.

Rylov is one of 335 ROC athletes competing in the Games.

At a subsequent press conference, sitting alongside Rylov and British bronze medalist Luke Greenbank, Murphy clarified his comments by saying he was speaking more broadly about doping in swimming.

When asked if he thinks the race is clean, the 26-year-old said: “I think what’s frustrating is you can’t answer that question with 100 certainty. % and I think over the years it’s, I mean it’s kind of come out… I don’t know if it was 100% clean and that’s because of things that have happened in the past . “

Rylov reacts after winning gold in the men's 100m backstroke.

“I have to be clear … My intention is not to make any allegations here. Kudos to Luke and Evgeny. They did an amazing job, they are both very talented swimmers,” he said. .

“At the end of the day… I believe doping in swimming. That’s what it is.”

Greenbank echoed Murphy’s feelings.

“It’s obviously a very difficult situation not knowing if who you’re running against is clean, but I think it’s something that is part of the sport, it’s a frustrating situation but I just have to keep my mind on it. my race and the things I can control.

“Obviously there’s a lot of media around certain nations in these Olympics, and it’s obviously frustrating to see that as an athlete knowing that there was a state sponsored doping program. and that more could have been done to deal with it, but it is not. It is up to me to make these decisions. ”

Asked by a reporter to comment on Murphy’s response, Rylov said he has always trumpeted fairness in sports.

“I have always been for fair sport and for fair competition, so I have always taken drug tests, I always fill out the ADAMS (World Anti-Doping Agency database) forms.

“I’ve dedicated my whole life to this so I could never forgive myself if I had taken anything. So I don’t know how to react to this. Ryan didn’t accuse me of anything. , I don’t. want to answer anything about it, “Rylov added.

The Russian Olympic Committee was not so diplomatic. It published a firm statement on Twitter berating Murphy’s allegations.

“How maddening our victories are for [some]. Yes, we are here at the Olympics. Absolutely correct. Whether people like it or not, “we can read in part.

USA Swimming was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNN.

In December 2020, when asked how clean he thought the Tokyo Games would be, 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps bluntly told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell: “Four or five” on 10.

“I can honestly say that throughout my career I don’t know if I’ve ever competed on clean ground,” added Phelps.

Rylov competes in the men's 200m backstroke final.
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The ITA is a non-profit agency created to “manage anti-doping programs, independent of sports or political bodies, for International Federations, organizers of major events and all other organizations requesting support”.

In an infographic sent to CNN, detailing its Tokyo 2020 anti-doping program, the ITA said some of the most tested sports to date were aquatics, rowing, track and field, cycling and weightlifting while that some of the most tested teams are from the United States. United States, Australia, China, Great Britain and ROC.

“Laboratory analyzes are underway. Any adverse finding constituting an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) will be presented by the ITA to the anti-doping division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” ITA told CNN in a statement. “Any such proceeding will be publicly reported. No ADRVs have been reported to date.”



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