Ryan Murphy Casts Doubt on Whether His Loss to R.O.C. Swimmer Was Clean
Ryan Murphy won a silver medal for the United States in the men’s 200-meter backstroke, then sparked fireworks at his press conference when he questioned whether his race, won by a Russian, was drug-free, given a history of doping in sports in Russia.
“I don’t know if it was 100% clean,” Murphy said, “and that’s because of things that have happened in the past.”
Evgeny Rylov won with an Olympic record of 1 minute 53.27 seconds. Rylov took control of the race at the second turn, extending his lead to half a second at the halfway point and finishing about a half body length ahead of Murphy, who was the event’s reigning Olympic champion.
Rylov won by 0.88 seconds, but after the race Murphy looked into whether Russian athletes should be allowed to compete in the Games, given the history of state-sponsored doping. in the country. Russian athletes compete in Tokyo as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee, and anyone who was allowed to run had to go through a rigorous clearance process before being allowed to participate.
Still, Murphy asked directly if his race had been doping-free. He refrained from directly accusing Rylov, sitting four feet to his left, of cheating but more generally referred to the history of doping in Russia.
Rylov chose not to respond to Murphy’s comments, only saying he was a fan of clean sports and followed all of the procedures required to be able to swim at the Olympics. Murphy then clarified that he was not making a direct accusation but had not withdrawn from his statements.
“I have to be clear,” he said. “My intention is not to make allegations here. Congratulations to Evgeny; congratulations to Luc. They both did an amazing job. They are two very talented swimmers. They both train very hard and they have great technique.
The race’s bronze medalist Luke Greenbank of Great Britain took the same stance as Murphy. “It is frustrating to know that a state sponsored doping program is underway and that there is no more effort to address it,” he said. noted after.
The Russian Olympic Committee called the comments lack of sportsmanship. “How much our victories annoy our colleagues,” he said in a Tweeter. “Here we go again, the same old song about Russian doping is played by the old music box. Someone diligently turns the handle.
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