Not enough is being done to combat doping in swimming
American back swimmer Ryan Murphy told CNBC The News with Shepard Smith that doping is still a huge problem in sport and that not enough is being done to combat it.
“In the US you can see exactly how many times I or one of my teammates have been tested for drugs, and in other countries you don’t,” Murphy said. “We just have no idea what they are doing or not doing in the fight against doping.”
In Tokyo, Murphy won a gold medal in the 4×100 medley relay, a silver medal in the 200m back and a bronze medal in the 100m back, bringing his own Olympic medal count to six.
After Murphy’s silver medal in the men’s 200m backstroke, Murphy took the spotlight on doping concerns when he told reporters, “It’s been a huge mental strain on me all year round to know that I’m swimming in a race that probably isn’t clean.”
Murphy clarified to host Shepard Smith that he “didn’t name a single athlete or country, and that’s how it got included, and that’s a bit of a disappointment.”
Murphy told Smith that he trusts Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, and FINA’s new chief executive Brent Nowicki, when it comes to promoting swimming and getting away from doping.
“Travis Tygart has been talking about this for years, he’s someone who deals with this topic every day, and if he’s someone who says races may not be clean, that’s an opinion I listen to, and then too the new manager. ” Director of FINA, the umbrella organization for international swimming, he told me in my face that he believes we still have a long way to go to rid our sport of doping, so these two guys are really well versed in this matter, ” said Murphy. “You are really motivated to clean up our sport and really motivated to move our sport forward.”
FINA did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Tygart emailed the following statement to CNBC:
“Unfortunately, we’ve already seen this horror movie – in which Russia’s government-sponsored doping program runs free and Russia wins, while the leaders of IOC and WADA try to blur the world by claiming that Russia is ‘forbidden’. Everyone can now see this “prohibition” as a farce. It is hardly a “rebranding” and will do nothing to stop corruption in Russia and likely encourage others who are willing to win by any means. This must surely be another call for a new, honest global anti-doping system that lives by Olympic values and has the courage to stand up for a fair sport, the Games through their thirst for medals over values. ”
Of course, it is not fair to question the performance of an individual athlete and all are considered innocent unless and until proven otherwise. The world, including athletes from Russia, has been let down and deserves better. The leaders and sports authorities in Russia, having escaped the consequences, have abandoned their athletes by committing the original scam that started years ago and continue to cover up that scam. We have called for all tests on individual athletes in all sports to be published from all countries, as our US athlete test results are, but especially Russia given its proven corrupt system. The world deserves to know if anything has really changed in Russia and how many times we may see this fraud again on the world’s greatest stage. ”
The Russian Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.