PHELPS TO AIR FRUS­TRA­TIONS OVER DOPING TO CONGRESS

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS -

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

STU­ART C. WIL­SON, GETTY IMAGES, FOR LAUREUS

Swim­mer Michael Phelps is among five who will tes­tify Tues­day.

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