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US swimmer Ryan Murphy making waves over doping comments

US swimmer Ryan Murphy making waves over doping comments

US swimmer Ryan Murphy Swimming - Olympics: Day 4

Ryan Murphy, one of the captains of the United States swimming team in Tokyo, called into question the anti-doping 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 the 200 back by Evgeny Rylov and in the 100 back by Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov, both of whom represent the Russian Olympic Committee.

Wall Street Journal reporter Laine Higgins asked Murphy if he had any doping concerns and Murphy’s response was quite telling.

“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.”

US swimmer Ryan Murphy 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials - Swimming - Day 6
Ryan Murphy of the United States reacts after competing in the Men’s 200m backstroke final during Day Six of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center on June 18, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

But later, at a news conference with fellow medalists Rylov and third-place finisher Luke Greenbank of Britain, Murphy said he was not accusing the Russian of doping.

“I need to be clear,” he said. “My intention is not to make any allegations here. Congratulations to Evgeny, congratulations to Luke. They both did an incredible job. They’re both very talented swimmers. They both train real hard and they’ve got great technique.”

Rylov, who has long been one of the world’s top backstrokers, denied being involved in any doping schemes.

US swimmer Ryan Murphy Swimming - Olympics: Day 7
Ryan Murphy of Team United States looks on before the Men’s 200m Backstroke Final on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

“I have always been for clean competition,” he said through a translator. “I’m tested. I fill out all the forms. I’m for clean sport. I’ve been devoting my whole life to this (sport).”

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Rylov didn’t feel like he was the target of Murphy’s frustration, even after beating him twice in Tokyo. The Russian is a two-time world champion in the 200 back, and he also pulled off a 100-200 sweep at the 2019 championships.

US swimmer Ryan Murphy Swimming - Olympics: Day 4
Ryan Murphy of Team United States poses with the bronze medal during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 100m Backstroke Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“Ryan has all the right to think the way he does and say what he does,” Rylov said. “He did not accuse me of anything. That’s why I don’t have anything against him.”

More photos of Ryan Murphy at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

US swimmer Ryan Murphy
USA’s Caeleb Dressel (in water), USA’s Ryan Murphy (R), USA’s Torri Huske (L) and USA’s Lydia Jacoby react after the final of the mixed 4x100m medley relay swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 31, 2021. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
US swimmer Ryan Murphy Swimming - Olympics: Day 4
Ryan Murphy of Team United States competes in the Men’s 100m Backstroke Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
US swimmer Ryan Murphy Swimming - Olympics: Day 3
Ryan Murphy of Team United States looks on during the Men’s 100m Backstroke Semifinal on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
US swimmer Ryan Murphy
USA’s Ryan Murphy prepares to compete in the final of the men’s 100m backstroke swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 27, 2021. (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

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