Katinka Hosszu Responds to Doping Allegations, Mulls Legal Action

Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu has made her first public response to allegations by Casey Barrett that she is using performance enhancing drugs, despite what he says is “no proof.” Barrett’s piece was posted on SwimmingWorldMagazine.com last week.

At a press conference on Monday, Hosszu read from a statement approved by her attorneys. The same statement was published on the Hungarian Swimming Association’s Facebook page both in Hungarian, and then in English. The full statement from the Facebook page, along with a video of her press conference (in Hungarian), is below.

Katinka Hosszu, defends doping allegations, press conference

Hosszu’s statement does not discuss a specific legal action, she closes that she “will continue to focus on swimming and my legal team will have more to say to Swimming World and Mr. Barrett at the appropriate time.”

Throughout her statement, Hosszu denies the use of any “illegal means as an explanation for (her) success.”

Casey Barrett is a 1996 Canadian Olympian. For the last year, Barrett has been writing for a documentary about the East German systematic doping at the 1976 Olympics.

Hosszu, who owns neither a long course World Record or an Olympic medal, is one of the most accomplished swimmers in the world all-told, and is the defending long course World Champion in the 200 and 400 IM’s, as well as the short course World Champion in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, along with the 100 and 200 IM’s.

Hosszu has become well-known for entering significant event lineups at various regular-season meets, and has become the winningest swimmer in the history of FINA’s World Cup circuit.

Hosszu has never had a positive test for a banned substance or method as defined by the World Anti-Doping Code.

While Hungary does not publicly post doping test numbers, Hosszu was tested 14 times in-competition by FINA, the world governing body for aquatic sports, in 2014. That was more than anybody else in the world, primarily due to the sheer number of races she swims offering more opportunities for testing.

Hosszu was also tested by FINA 3 times in 2014 in unannounced, out-of-competition tests, all of which came prior to the 2014 European Aquatics Championships. FINA is one of many organizations that may have conducted anti-doping controls on Hosszu throughout the year.

SwimSwam contacted Casey Barrett for comment. He has not responded.

Hosszu’s Statement, Courtesy MUSZ:

English translation, also provided by MUSZ, is below.

Hosszú Katinka nyilatkozata

Üdvözlök mindenkit. Azért kértem ennek a sajtótájékoztatónak az összehívását, hogy válaszoljak a Swimming Worldben megjelentekre, amelyek azt próbálják sugalmazni, hogy illegális módszerek segítenek az eredményeim elérésében, ezek állnak a sikereim mögött.
Úgy döntöttem, nyilvánosság elé állok, hogy visszautasítsam ezeket a teljesen alaptalan vádakat, így a szurkolóim és az egész úszóközvélemény egyértelműen meggyőződhet arról, hogy mindaz, ami a szörnyű gyanúsítgatásokban szerepel, teljesen idegen a személyiségemtől, az értékrendemtől, a versenyszellemtől.
Hatéves koromtól úszom versenyszerűen – az, hogy nagyszerű sikereket értem el imádott sportágamban, egyszerre köszönhető a kemény munkának, a kiváló edzésmódszereknek, valamint a családom, a barátaim és a szponzoraim támogatásának.
Nem tudok eléggé hálás lenni honfitársaim, szurkolóim és a Magyar Úszó Szövetség kiállásáért – és azt kérem, továbbra is legyenek mellettem, különösen most, hogy Casey Barrett azt írta, a teljesítményem egyedüli magyarázata a doppingolás lehet.
Azt mindenesetre itt és most kijelentem, hogy a megfelelő időben és helyen személyesem fogom megmondani Mr. Barrett-nek: súlyosan tévedett, durván megsértett – és ezzel együtt a sportnak is kárt okozott. Vádjai teljesen hamisak, azt pedig maga is beismerte, hogy semmiféle bizonyítékkal nem rendelkezik. És soha nem is fog, hiszen már maga a sztori alapfeltételezése sem helytálló. Soha nem szedtem teljesítménynövelő szereket, és szentül vallom, nincs az a pénz, hírnév, nincs az a győzelem, ami visszaigazolná: megérte eladni a lelkemet.
Teljesen idegen tőlem a csalás. Viszont az is, hogy egy vállrándítással intézzem el, ha egy általam egyáltalán nem ismert illető megpróbálja tönkretenni a hitelességemet, a saját önző érdekei miatt.
Hadd osszak meg önökkel egy igen fontos részletet: a cikk megjelentétésével kapcsolatba hozhatók közül soha, senki, semmilyen formában nem keresett meg sem engem, sem az edzőimet a publikálás előtt. Nem érdeklődtek az edzésmódszereimről, hogy hány órát töltök naponta a medencében, milyen az étrendem, milyen szigorú szabályrend szerint táplálkozom, kizárandó annak a lehetőségét, hogy bármilyen tiltott szer a szervezetembe kerüljön.
Csakhogy úgy fest, léteznek ma olyanok, akik számára a tények nem számítanak. Nekem viszont számítanak, és számítaniuk kell Önöknek, Nektek is.
Rendkívül nagyraértékelem a családom, a barátaim, a szponzoraim, versenyzőtársaim és szurkolóim kiállását – azt akarom, hogy mindenki tudja: semmi sem jelent nekem annyit, mint a ti fantasztikus támogatásotok.
Én magam továbbra is az úszásra koncentrálok – az ügyet pedig immár egy jogászokból álló csapat viszi tovább, ők beszélgetnek el a Swimming Worlddel és Mr. Barrett-tel a megfelelő időben.

Fotók: Szaka József

A nyilatkozat angol nyelven

Statement of Katinka Hosszu

Good afternoon to everyone. I have called today’s conference to address the recent
suggestion in the Swimming World article that my performances in competition
have been aided by illegal means as an explanation for my success. I have decided
to confront these false accusations now so that my fans and the swimming
community clearly understand that I deny these hurtful allegations as false and as
entirely inconsistent with my character, my belief system, and the spirit of
competition.
I have been swimming in competition since the age of 6–through a combination of
hard work, excellent coaching, and the support of my family, friends, and sponsors,
I have achieved a great amount of success in the sport I love. I genuinely
appreciate the great support of my countrymen, fans, and the Hungarian Swimming
Federation and continue to ask for your support even in the face of, and especially
in the face of the allegations of Casey Barrett that the only explanation for level of
my performances is that I am doping. And I will tell you now what I will tell Mr.
Barrett directly at the appropriate time and place—he is wrong, he has hurt me, and
in doing so has also hurt the sport. His allegations are false, and as he admits, he
has no proof because there is no proof. There will never be any proof because the
premise of the story is false. I have never taken performance enhancing drugs and
in my mind no amount of money or fame could justify selling my soul simply to
win.
It is not in my character to cheat–nor is it in my character to allow someone I don’t
know and have never even met to attempt to destroy my reputation, apparently for
his own selfish reasons. Here is something that I want for you to understand—
nobody associated with this article ever contacted me or my coaches prior to it
being published or even to this point in time to discuss my training methods, the
hours I spend in the pool or my schedule, my diet, or the strict safeguards we have
in place to ensure that I don’t mistakenly ingest any supplement or compound that
is suspect or banned. In this day and age, facts apparently don’t matter to some
people, but they matter to me. And they should matter to you.
To my family, friends, sponsors, fellow competitors and fans I appreciate your
confidence and I want for you to know that nothing means more to me than your
ongoing support. I will continue to focus on swimming and my legal team will
have more to say to Swimming World and Mr. Barrett at the appropriate time.

In This Story

209
Leave a Reply

79 Comment threads
130 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
98 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Markster

I don’t believe this. Anytime a female swimmer gets some defined muscles and great times doping allegations are to follow. I doubt she is guilty of this. The 14 unannounced drug tests last year speak for themselves.

Markster

My mistake, she was tested 3 time unannounced and 14 times in competition. I realize that her circumstances and the thought has crossed my mind. But until there is an ounce of hard proof I will give her the benefit of the doubt

SWIMGUY12345

Yeah. So people stop down voting my comment lol.

anon

Just playing the devil’s advocate – I feel like passing 14 drug tests, irregardless of whether they are unannounced or not, has lost its significance. Lance Armstrong passed 100’s of drug tests – what is to say she isn’t doing the same? I don’t know enough about Katinka to form an opinion about whether or not she is using illegal substances, but the “I’ve passed countless drug tests” defense is no longer credible. Here’s to hoping that she is clean! She certainly is wonderful to watch swim. I couldn’t imagine loading up the schedule she repeatedly swims at meets!

Jet

Lance didn’t “pass” hundreds of drug tests. He was caught more than once and bought his way out. He intimidated anyone who couldn’t be bought and did his best to terrorize anyone and everyone who spoke the truth about his PED use. Armstrong is a remorseless sociopath, a fraud whose lies continue to hurt innocent athletes. What he did has nothing to do with who Katinka is or does. I don’t have a much higher opinion of Casey Barrett. And people who so cavalierly jump on the smear campaign without the need for any evidence before judging and dishonoring don’t consider or care what that means if the accused is innocent. You all make me sick. Too easy to ruin… Read more »

Petula

It is really sad that as of today someone just comes out and say crap and that is valid and taints reputations of hard workers. They could destroy her career just by falsely accusing her. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Also, no Mr. Barret mentions Phelps or any gigantic western swimmer as a possible cheater. Is this some sort of institutionalized racism? Only non-western are the dopers? He was very, very unfortunate in this whole thing. Katinka is fantastic, like many athletes before her and many others after her. As for what someone mentioned for Armstrong, it is very right. The whistleblower that talked about him back in the days was destroyed. No one ever believed him and… Read more »

Cayley Guimarães

She is NOT using this line of reasoning. She NEVER mentioned the tests… The article mentioned the tests….

SWIMGUY12345

Why don’t you read the article more carefully. She was tested 14 times in competition and those aren’t exactly a surprise because it’s a given you’ll be tested at competitions. She was tested 3 times completely unaccounced. As far as my opinion, I’m not sure what to think.

mcgillrocks

If I understand correctly, FINA tested her 3 times, but the Hungarian sports authorities may have tested her additional times but don’t publish their test dates, and frequencies.

At least that’s what I got from the article.

Just to make sure what we’ve written above is clear, FINA tested her 14 times in competition (which, as SWIMGUY pointed out, are pretty well expected), and three times out of competition. That does not mean that these were the only 17 times she was tested in 2014, just the only 17 times that she was tested by FINA. There are many different testing organizations who have the right to test an athlete.

coacherik

Your move SWM and Mr. Barrett. Your move…

Noel G

Pretty sure they made their move already!

Mimi

Yes they did, they shut off the comment section concernings the Hosszu problem 🙂

Dorina

It blows my mind… First they write a very disputable opinion piece and then they close their comments section so that readers can’t write their opinion on that “nice piece” of writing. That’s the way to go, long live democracy!

Coach Mike 1952

Indeed, they shut off comments saying the thread had gone off topic. Not good!

coacherik

I am referring to defending their posting of the opinion piece, maybe an explanation? Mr. Barrett at the time of posting this article had not yet responded. She’s mulling legal action, they could have a response to that, like “good luck” or “sorry, not sorry”, I don’t know…

James

Sorry if none of the current drug testing procedures give me a full degree of confidence. Doesn’t mean they are all guilty, just that those that cheat at this level are really good at doing it. They know how, when, and what quantity to use. This isn’t bodybuilding in the 1970’s – anyone doping today has a highly sophisticated program in place mostly to help aid in recovery and training. They are shooting up something in the warm up room at World Championships.

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!