Now officially retired from competition, Michael Phelps is still making waves: the 23-time Olympic gold medalist is part of a group of experts testifying before a congressional subcommittee next week about the issue of doping.
USA Today and others report that Phelps is one of five experts testifying before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations next Tuesday. The rest of the group includes U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, IOC medical and scientific director Richard Bludgett, World Anti-Doping Agency deputy director Rob Koehler and Olympic champion shot putter Adam Nelson.
The focus of the subcommittee hearing is “Ways to Improve and Strengthen the Anti-Doping System,” per USA Today.
Phelps should have an interesting perspective on the status of doping, as his storied career has seen him compete alongside and against multiple athletes nailed for doping violations. And the longevity of Phelps’ career gives him unique perspective on whether the athletic landscape truly is getting worse on the issue of doping. Recently, more and more doping violations have become public, and doping was a dark shadow over the 2016 Rio Olympics perhaps more than it has ever been in previous Olympiads. Certainly the rise of the internet has caused increased flow of information that could mean the increase of visible doping scandals is merely a product of more doping violations coming to public light than in past years. On the other hand, there are many who allege that doping in athletics is getting progressively more common, even at the youth levels.