By Anne Lepesant on SwimSwam

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Ryan Murphy, one of the captains of the United States swimming team in Tokyo, called into question the antidoping measures of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in a press conference after the men’s 200 backstroke final. Murphy, the 2016 Olympic champion in the 100 back and 200 back, was beaten in both those events by Evgeny Rylov, who represents the Russian Olympic Committee.

Laine Higgins, a sports reporter with the Wall Street Journal, wrote that she asked Murphy if he had any doping concerns about Rylov. Murphy’s response was explosive.

“I’ve got about 15 thoughts. Thirteen of them would get me into a lot of trouble. It is what it is. I try not to get caught up in that. It is a huge mental drain on me to go throughout the year that I’m swimming in a race that’s probably not clean, and that is what it is. The people that know a lot more about the situation made the decision they did. It frustrates me but I have to swim the field that’s next to me. I don’t have the bandwidth to train for the Olympics at a very high level and try to lobby the people who are making the decisions that they’re making the wrong decisions.”

Ian Herbert, sportswriter at Britain’s Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, asked Luke Greenbank, who finished with a bronze medal in the 200 back behind Rylov and Murphy, what he thought about Murphy’s comments. Greenbank answered, “It’s frustrating knowing there’s a state-sponsored doping programme going on and not more being done to tackle that.”

Herbert also reported that Rylov responded to Murphy’s comments by saying, “Ryan has all the right to think the way he does and to say whatever he says. This is today and here that we live. We don’t live in the past. We don’t live in the future.”

Murphy, without getting into specifics, was referencing the decision by CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) in December 2020 that reduced to two years a four-year ban that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had imposed on Russia in 2019 following the revelation that the country had been running a state-sponsored doping program to help shield Russian athletes from doping bans. Russian athletes would be allowed to compete at 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, although the Russian team name and national anthem would be banned.

Murphy’s comments were reminiscent of Lilly King’s finger-wagging incident at the 2016 Rio Olympics, when the American implied that Russian breaststroker Yuliya Efimova was a doping cheat.

Read the full story on SwimSwam: Ryan Murphy: “I’ve got about 15 thoughts” about Doping in the Olympics

Source: Swimming – SwimSwam