American backstroke Olympian Ryan Murphy told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that doping remains a huge problem in the sport and not enough is being done to fight it.
“In the US you can see exactly how many times I or one of my teammates has been tested for drugs, which is not the case in other countries,” Murphy said. “We just have no idea what they are or aren’t doing when it comes to anti-doping.”
In Tokyo, Murphy won a gold medal in the 4×100 medley relay, a silver medal in the 200-meter backstroke and a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke, bringing his own medal count for the Olympics to six.
After Murphy’s silver medal swim in the men’s 200-meter backstroke, Murphy turned the spotlight on doping concerns when he told reporters, “It’s a huge mental strain on me all year to know I’m swimming in a race. probably not clean.”
Murphy clarified to host Shepard Smith that he “didn’t mention a single athlete or a single country, and that’s how it was taken, and that’s a little disappointing.”
Murphy told Smith he has faith in US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart and FINA’s new Executive Director Brent Nowicki when it comes to pushing swimming forward and away from doping.
“Travis Tygart has been talking about this for years, he’s someone who spends every day on this topic, and if he’s someone who says possible races aren’t clean, that’s an opinion I listen to, and so does the new executive director of FINA which is the governing body of international swimming he told me right to my face he believes we have a long way to go when it comes to clearing our sport of doping so those two guys are really good at home in this topic,” Murphy said. “They are really motivated to clean up our sport and really motivated to move our sport forward.”
FINA has emailed the following statement to CNBC:
“Doping is a global problem in sport. It is the responsibility of FINA to do everything possible to help combat it and protect clean athletes. That is why, since taking office two months ago, FINA President Husain Al-Musallam has , the prevention of doping in water sports a priority in its reforms. FINA worked closely with the International Testing Agency (ITA) to ensure that out-of-competition testing for Tokyo 2020 was consistent with those for Rio 2016, despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic. , of course the water sports athletes in Tokyo, including all medal winners, are regularly tested, but as FINA has made clear to all our athletes, we are determined to do more and further strengthen our anti-doping practices with more resources and more transparency We will continue to do everything we can to ensure a level playing field for our athletes.”
Tygart emailed the following statement to CNBC:
“The athlete’s voice is an important part of an effective global anti-doping system and we commend athletes like Ryan who have the courage to point out the gaps in the system that leave us all questioning the fairness of international competitions. We will continue the work with athletes to give them a real voice at the WADA decision table.
Unfortunately, we’ve already seen this horror movie – where the Russian state-sponsored doping program goes free and Russia wins while the IOC and WADA leaders try to bully the world by claiming that Russia is “banned”. Everyone can now see this ‘ban’ again for the farce that it is. It is hardly a ‘rebrand’ and will do nothing to stop corruption in Russia and will probably encourage others who want to win in any way they can. This should certainly serve as yet another call for a new, fair global anti-doping system that lives by Olympic values and has the courage to stand up for fair sport. It’s a doomed system that allows, like here, a nation to mock the Games for their thirst for medals beyond values.
It is of course not fair to question an individual athlete’s performance 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 who have escaped consequence have let their athletes down by committing the original fraud that started years ago and continued to cover up that fraud. We have called for all tests on individual athletes in all sports from all countries to be made public, as are the results of our American athlete tests, 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 be revisiting this fraud on the biggest stage in the world.”
The Russian Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.