The topic of doping isn’t anything new when it comes to the Olympic stage. But it once again is on the minds of certain athletes in Tokyo.
Ryan Murphy, a swimmer for the United States, is one of the latest athletes to speak out on doping issues with Olympic athletes. The 26-year-old backstroke specialist feels as though there should be more consistency among how all countries drug test their athletes.
“We want transparency,” Murphy said. “The U.S. is one of, if not the only country, where you can see exactly how many times a person has been tested in a year, and that’s kind of what we’re looking for in other countries.”
Murphy has a gold medal as a part of the 4x100m medley relay team and a bronze and silver medal in his two individual events. He came in third behind ROC’s Evgeny Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov in the 100m backstroke, as well as finishing behind Rylov in the 200m backstroke.
The fact that Murphy lost to two Russians stands out considering the country’s place in doping history. Russia was investigated in 2017 and there were findings that did not align with the IOC’s drug testing policies. As a result, as of December of that year, 43 Russian competitors have been sanctioned and 13 medals have been stripped.
At the 2018 Olympics, only athletes from Russia that had no previous drug violations and a consistent history of drug testing were allowed to compete. Those that went to PyeongChang went and represented the country under the moniker “Olympic Athlete from Russia” or “OAR.”
At the Tokyo Olympics, these athletes are competing under the Russian Olympic Committee. The Russian national anthem has not and will not be played, nor will you find the Russian flag anywhere in Tokyo. The athletes have also been drug tested under the IOC’s rules at the Olympics, not Russia’s rules which is normally the case.
Murphy is not the only athlete to speak out against doping. Fellow American swimmer Lilly King recently discussed the issue, going as far as to implicate Russia and their athletes.
Regardless of whether certain athletes should or should not be competing, Murphy wants to see a change in the policies going forward to prevent these issues at future Olympic Games.