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.

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Kevin Lewis
6 years ago

First, it is suspicious when a country of 10 million people that hasn’t historically been a swimming powerhouse suddenly seems to have 2 athletes in every swimming final at the olympics. Secondly, it is odd that she became so much more dominant between the age of 23 and 27 when female swimmers generally peak at around 22. Third, you rarely ever see swimmers blow away world records, and when you do, there is generally a reason… ie Phelps is genetically almost a perfect swimming specimen and his record destroying times were aided by those ultra fast suits, or in the case of Ledecky, sometimes a once in a generation swimmer shows up, but they usually start winning at a young… Read more »

Petrapaal
6 years ago

a long 6 years since nt and since the new technique developed . You have goals in your life, if doping fraud would be caught, could not be fulfilled. But of course, this drug um if we don’t win we’re a drug it’s your opinion if you have a Hungarian drugs . Something can’t be good because it’s Hungarian?Why , because it’s Hungarian. Hungary’s relative to win? Don’t scold me anyone about what you have no idea how it happened. And kid

Jer
6 years ago

Didn’t Lance Armstrong aggressively go after people with accusations too?? That’s what sociopaths do. As for her, who knows. Maybe smashing the world record and beating everyone else by 5 seconds is totally natural….

RecoveringSwimCoach
6 years ago

This is eerily similar to the Michelle Smith story, during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Leo Trollstoy
6 years ago

Sounds like Lance Armstrong.

WakeUpAmerica
6 years ago

Katinka is most certainly the BEST SWIMMER at the 2016 Rio Olympics and her medals will prove that! To try and insult and accuse her of doping is ABSURD, she’s clearly the BEST SWIMMER by a country mile, her 400M IM WR Gold Medal swim PROVES THAT! People like Barrett are a disgrace to the swimming sport reporting and should be FIRED at a minimum, being sued for his future earnings at a maximum!

Jim C
7 years ago

I don’t like Hosszu’s attempt to silence her critics with threats of a lawsuit. I also have to ask myself if this is how she responded to Casey’s article, how would she have responded if she thought the Chinese cheated her out of a medal in 2012. I’m quite willing to believe that she would not do anything she considered to ne cheating, but I am not sure she would consider taking PEDs to be cheating after what happened to her in 2012.

I see no relevance if Casey said nothing about Torres in 2008. There were plenty of people expressing the view that she was on drugs. If we ask why Casey said nothing then, we should also ask… Read more »

Constantly Learning
7 years ago

One factor that appears to be overlooked are the LEGAL drugs/medications swimmers are allowed to take with Therapuetic Use Exemptions. From personal experience in taking an extended release form of Adderall to treat ADD, my focus, stamina and pain tolerance are greatly enhanced even with a mild dosage of only 10 mgs. I do not keep track of timed workouts in the pool, but on a Concept 2 rowing machine it’s not uncommon to go 1-2 minutes faster for 5000 meters or 300-500 meters farther for 30 minutes. If any top flight swimmer is taking this legal medication, you can be assured their performance is strengthened.

Gina Rhinestone
Reply to  Constantly Learning
7 years ago

That is my general take . Look how good cosmetic enhancement has become . Then there is the absolute hideous David Rockefeller who at 100 kept going crypt – like by 6 organ transplants .

Then there is Dick Cheney who was on clearly on his wayout given an artificial heart set up & then a new heart . I can’t help imagining Academi personnel were checking out every accident/ aneurism victim across the nation & presto – Dick is back better than ever .

This is why we follow sport . Things are bad but ot as bad as elsewhere . We just want some camradie & entertainment . I don’t even care about FIFA . They deliver &… Read more »

ChestRockwell
Reply to  Constantly Learning
7 years ago

Unless things have changed in the last few years, Adderall is banned in and out of competition. TUE forms will not allow that substance, and I’d be shocked if there were any substances that would have such an obvious impact on performance that were allowed via TUE.