PHELPS TO AIR FRUSTRATIONS OVER DOPING TO CONGRESS
In testimony they will give before Congress on Tuesday, Olympians and the leader of the U.S. AntiDoping Agency express frustration at the anti-doping system.
Michael Phelps is among five who will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The hearing, Ways to Improve and Strengthen the International Anti-Doping System, comes as the sport and anti-doping world have dealt with a Russian doping scandal that has led to repeated calls for change. “Throughout my career, I have suspected that some athletes were cheating, and in some cases those suspicions were confirmed,” Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with 28 medals, wrote in his witness statement. “I can’t adequately describe how frustrating it is to see another athlete break through performance barriers in unrealistic time frames, knowing what I had to go through to do it. I watched how this affected my teammates, too. Even the suspicion of doping is disillusioning for clean athletes.” Shot putter
Adam Nelson, who was reawarded Olympic gold from the 2004 Games in Athens more than a decade later, will also testify before the subcommittee. In his witness statement, Nelson writes of winning the silver medal only to learn he would receive gold after Ukraine’s Yuriy Bilonoh was stripped of his title for a doping violation in 2013. Nelson supports a series of reforms antidoping leaders agreed to in Copenhagen, including eliminating conflicts of interest in anti-doping governance, strengthening investigative and compliance abilities for the World Anti-Doping Agency and increased protection for whistleblowers. “You cannot change the culture from the top down only,” Nelson wrote. “You have to engage the athletes.”
— Rachel Axon
Swimmer Michael Phelps is among five who will testify Tuesday.