2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
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The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has offered a response after American swimmer Ryan Murphy said that he was “swimming in a race that’s probably not clean” after the men’s 200 backstroke final at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“How unnerving our victories are for some of our colleagues,” the statement reads (translated from original Russian. “Yes, we are here at the Olympics. Whether someone likes it or not. The old barrel organ started the song about Russian doping again.
“English-language propaganda, oozing with verbal sweat in the Tokyo heat. Through the mouths of athletes offended by defeats. We will not console you. Forgive us those who are weaker. God is their judge. And for us, an assistant.”
Как же нервируют наши победы отдельных коллег по цеху. Да, мы здесь, на Олимпийских играх. Абсолютно по праву. Нравится это кому-то или нет.
А вот проигрывать надо уметь. Но не всем это дано. Старая шарманка снова затянула песнь о русском допинге. Кто-то усердно крутит ручку➡️ pic.twitter.com/1OgizY5cK0
— Olympic Russia (@Olympic_Russia) July 30, 2021
Murphy, the 2016 Olympic champion in the men’s 100 and 200 back, lost both of his titles this week, winning bronze and silver, respectively, with Russian Evgeny Rylov landing on top of the podium in both races.
Another Russian swimmer, Kliment Kolesnikov, was the silver medalist in the 100 back.
After the 200 back, Murphy was asked about anti-doping, and had an explosive response, describing how frustrating it was knowing he was likely going against a field that was not 100 percent clean.
Murphy and Rylov have since cleared the air on the comments made, as Murphy was simply responding to a anti-doping question in general, and never mentioned Rylov or the ROC.
“We have exchanged messages along our Instagram accounts, clarifying everything personally to each other and agreed that it was a misunderstanding and that his words were misinterpreted,” Rylov said.
“He was asked what he thought in general about possible doping abuse in the sport of swimming. He replied that in his opinion not all athletes in this sport are clean. He has the right to express his personal opinion and most likely it is a problem somewhere.”
Murphy’s comment was referencing the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in December 2020 that reduced Russia’s four-year ban from competing internationally down to two—a ban imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after it was revealed that the country had been running a state-sponsored doping program.
Full Murphy quote:
“I’ve got about 15 thoughts. Thirteen of them would get me into a lot of trouble. It is what it is. I try not to get caught up in that. It is a huge mental drain on me to go throughout the year that I’m swimming in a race that’s probably not clean, and that is what it is. The people that know a lot more about the situation made the decision they did. It frustrates me but I have to swim the field that’s next to me. I don’t have the bandwidth to train for the Olympics at a very high level and try to lobby the people who are making the decisions that they’re making the wrong decisions.”
The ban is the reason why Russia’s athletes are competing under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) banner at the Games, and aren’t able to fly their flag or listen to their national anthem during Olympic medal ceremonies.