TOKYO — After shedding to Russian swimmers in two races on the Olympics, American backstroke star Ryan Murphy mentioned Friday that doping stays an enormous downside within the sport and he wonders if all his opponents are clear.
Seeming to take purpose 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 on the 2016 Rio Video games — settled for a bronze within the 100 again. In that race, he touched after each Rylov and one other Russian, Kliment Kolesnikov.
“It’s a large psychological drain on me to listen to I’m swimming in a race that’s in all probability not clear,” Murphy mentioned. “That’s what it’s.”
However later, at a information convention with fellow medalists Rylov and third-place finisher Luke Greenbank of Britain, Murphy mentioned he was not accusing the Russian of doping.
“I have to be clear,” he mentioned. “My intention is to not make any allegations right here. Congratulations to Evgeny, congratulations to Luke. They each did an unbelievable job. They’re each very proficient swimmers. They each prepare actual onerous and so they’ve acquired nice method.”
Rylov, who has lengthy been one of many world’s prime backstrokers, denied being concerned in any doping schemes.
“I’ve all the time been for clear competitors,” he mentioned via a translator. “I’m examined. I fill out all of the varieties. I’m for clear sport. I’ve been devoting my complete 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 on the 2019 championships.
“Ryan has all the fitting to assume the best way he does and say what he does,” Rylov mentioned. “He didn’t accuse me of something. That’s why I don’t have something towards him.”
Russia has been probably the most outstanding goal of the anti-doping motion after revelations that it launched an enormous state-sponsored program to elude testers forward of the 2014 Sochi Winter Video games.
The nation was pressured to ship depleted squads to the final two Olympics, and people who did compete on the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Video games have 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 recordsdata at Moscow’s anti-doping lab.
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Investigators from the World Anti-Doping Company discovered proof had been deleted and spurious info added, together with faux messages designed to tarnish the title of WADA’s star witness, former lab director Grigory Rodchenkov.
The brand new revelations resulted in a four-year sanction towards the nation, however Russia denied any wrongdoing and the penalty was minimize in half by the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport.
Most Russian athletes have been allowed to compete at Tokyo, though they formally symbolize the Russian Olympic Committee — not their nation.
Critics have identified that the punishment lacks any actual chew, since Russian groups are sporting 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, have been initially banned from competing in Tokyo by world governing physique FINA due to proof gathered from the Moscow lab.
However, simply days earlier than the opening ceremony, CAS cleared each 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 situation. His nation’s swimmers have been concerned in a massing doping scandal within the Nineties, and China’s best-known swimmer, Solar Yang, was banned from the Tokyo Video games due to a doping violation.
“The Chinese language are towards doping,” Wang mentioned via a translator. “We undertake a zero tolerance in direction of that.”
Requested if the penalties towards the Russians have been ample, Murphy mentioned, “Once I’m requested a query like that, I’ve acquired like 15 completely different ideas — and 13 of them would get me into quite a lot of bother.”
“I do consider there’s doping in swimming,” he added.