Doping: Swimming hero Michael Phelps confesses

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U.S. Swimmer Michael Phelps
U.S. Swimmer Michael Phelps

America’s swimming hero Michael Phelps has recounted being drug tested 13 times in the leadup to the Rio Olympics.

Phelps made the revelation before a Congressional hearing in Washington on Tuesday, saying the numbers were baffling.

Many of his peers, though, did not face that same testing.

According to an Independent Observer report from the World Anti-Doping Agency, 1,913 athletes in 10 high-risk sports had no record of testing in 2016.

Swimming, track and field and weightlifting are among those considered high-risk sports. But the number is actually higher.

That same report noted 4,125 athletes out of 11,470 confirmed entrants in the athletes village the week before the Olympics had no record of testing last year before Rio.

“I can’t do anything about any other athletes,” said Phelps, the winningest Olympian ever with 28 medals. “I’ve done (out of competition paperwork) for 16 years.”

Phelps was one of five panelists to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Phelps testifies
Phelps testifies

He was joined by Adam Nelson, who was re-awarded Olympic gold from the 2004 Games more than a decade later after Ukraine’s Yuriy Bilonoh was stripped of his title for a doping violation.

Both athletes recounted the impact of anti-doping on their lives, with out-of-competition testing requiring them to submit their whereabouts information and give samples when doping control officers call.

Phelps noted being woken up at 6 a.m. on an off-day of training as an example.

“Those are the things that we’re doing as athletes to make sure the sport’s clean,” he said, “and I wish I could say that about everyone else.”

Also testifying were U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, International Olympic Committee medical and science director Richard Budgett and World Anti-Doping Agency deputy director general Rob Koehler.

Source: usatoday


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