One U.S. swimmer not confident Rio Olympics will be free of doping

(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

As the doping scandal surrounding Russia’s track and field team continues to roil the Olympic world, there is unease among some U.S. swimmers about whether the swimming competition at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics will be clean.

Elizabeth Beisel, for one, isn’t confident.

“No, I’m not,” the two-time Olympic medalist said Friday. “I’m definitely not.

“Just the talk, the rumors, speculation, just knowing people from around the world and other countries and hearing stuff. It’s always going to be in the back of your mind, thinking about it.”

Beisel emphasized “there’s no doubt in my mind” that the U.S. team will be clean.


Katie Ledecky, the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 800-meter freestyle, believes the attention focused on the issue in recent weeks is positive.

“Hopefully that will continue and we can all feel confident going in that we’re competing against clean athletes,” she said. “Hopefully things will be good, everybody will be clean in Rio. We’ll see.”

Ledecky said there is a “level of frustration and anger” that comes when she sees other athletes caught doping, particularly on a large scale.

The head coach of the U.S. Olympic women’s swimming team, David Marsh, was more direct.

“Well, I would love to have all the clean Russians swim in Rio,” he said. “But that’s not the only nation that has had patterns of behavior that seem to go beyond the norm, so I think in the future … we’re going to have to take some risk on being more aggressive for the demonstration of patterns and I don’t know if the powers that be will do that.”

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