“I think I can honestly say in my whole career I don’t know if I have ever competed in a clean sport.”
Such were the words spoken by American Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian who is on his way to his 5th Olympic Games.
In light of the Russian scandal involving systematic, organized doping across multiple sporting disciplines, Phelps was asked about the general subject of doping at a Rio press conference this week.
“I will say the same thing I’ve always said and I think I speak for all the athletes as well, I want clean sports that is all.”
“We want everybody to be on the same playing field. For me I’m the only one I can control and I can control myself. That is all I focus on,” Phelps said, as recorded by Perth Now.
In terms of action needing to be taken, Phelps was clear that, “There is something that needs to change, but in all sports not just swimming. We have had this problem for how many Olympics now and how many times does this come up? It’s sad. That’s really what it is, it is really sad that we can’t control it. That somebody who was in charge cannot control this.”
Phelps’ longtime coach Bob Bowman concurred with his phenom swimmer’s point of view, saying, “But I would like to say from a personal standpoint, it’s very concerning to me that our governing bodies have dropped the ball in many ways on this.”
Bowman continued, “Our system is broken and it has to be fixed.”
However, the American duo states that the squad is in Rio to get the job done no matter the situation.
“From a team perspective we’re just focusing on getting the best performances that we can regardless of the circumstances,” states Bowman.