Katie Ledecky, Lilly King Speak at White House Anti-Doping Summit

Olympians Katie Ledecky and Lilly King were part of a group of athletes and officials to call for reform of the World Anti-Doping Agency at the White House Wednesday for what’s being called an “emergency” summit.

The meeting was held in response to WADA‘s September decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency after its three-year ban for carrying out a state-sponsored doping scheme.

The reinstatement has been adamantly opposed by athletes from the United States and many other nations worldwide, as WADA allowed RUSADA to be reinstated after meeting lower standards than were originally required. The US Athletes’ Committee and USADA were among the organizations to release independent statements in opposition to WADA‘s decision. However, the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Committee, which is said to represent all Olympic athletes, released a statement of support for the decision.

Ledecky, currently at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA., spoke via a prerecorded video statement and tweeted that Olympic sports need a “truly independent international anti-doping regulator free of conflicts of interest.”

King, who traveled from school in Bloomington, Indiana, to attend the event in-person called for an “overhaul” of WADA. King has been particularly vocal about her desire for clean sport throughout the duration of her rivalry with Russian breaststroker Yulia Efimova, who has failed multiple drug tests.

The duo was part of 14 total athletes to speak, including Russian whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova; US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart also spoke. Additionally, national anti-doping organization representatives from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the UK were present, according to insidethegames.

Citing their lack of representation in D.C., WADA officials released a statement to insidethegames Wednesday morning calling the summit “one-sided.” WADA vice president Linda Helleland was in attendance, though reportedly not in an official capacity for the organization.

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About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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