Skip to main content

Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

Share
Politics

Michael Phelps wants dopers banned ahead of Paris Olympics

Share

Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

Share

The Paris Olympics are a month away and while much of the focus is on sewage in the River Seine, Congress is talking about doping. The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on what members contend are failures of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

Media Landscape

See who else is reporting on this story and which side of the political spectrum they lean. To read other sources, click on the plus signs below.

Learn more about this data

Left 30%

Center 60%

Right 11%

Bias Distribution Powered by Ground News

To shine a light on the conversation, lawmakers brought Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. 

“I witnessed firsthand the pervasive uncertainty and the suspicions surrounding doping,” the 23-time gold medalist said. “The hardest part was seeing athletes achieve seemingly impossible feats, knowing the immense effort and sacrifices required to reach these heights cleanly.”

QR code for SAN app download

Download the SAN app today to stay up-to-date with Unbiased. Straight Facts™.

Point phone camera here

Members on both sides of the aisle accused WADA of unevenly applying its rules to athletes from different countries. 

Lawmakers pointed to an incident involving swimmers from China at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. 

Before the Games, 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for a banned substance but 13 of them ultimately competed in the Olympics.

According to Chinese officials, the athletes tested positive “after inadvertently being exposed to the substance through food/environment contamination as a result of TMZ detected in the kitchen” of their hotel.

WADA accepted the explanation from officials, and 11 of those athletes are scheduled to compete again in Paris. 

“How many more Olympic athletes have to lose out on winning medals and proudly singing their country’s national anthem before the World Anti-Doping Agency decides to enforce these rules uniformly,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said. 

WADA was invited to testify but did not show. 

“It’s really outrageous that WADA does not have the courage or integrity to show up and defend itself here tonight. WADA should be protecting clean sport and not hiding from accountability,” Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said. 

“Some of [the swimmers] were tested on two or even three occasions on consecutive days,” WADA stated in a six-page document. “For several swimmers, the results varied from negative to positive within a few hours, which is not compatible with a doping scenario of deliberate ingestion nor with micro-dosing.”

The CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency cast doubt on that explanation. 

“TMZ is a controlled prescription medication, it’s prohibited all the time,” U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said. “The default sanction is four years. It doesn’t magically appear, fairy dust in a kitchen.”

Tygart suggested assigning an independent prosecutor who can look at the evidence and athlete’s individual files.

As for Phelps, the athlete who dedicated his life to reaching greatness, he wants rule breakers banned. 

“If somebody does test positive, I would like to see a lifetime ban,” Phelps said. “If somebody is going out of their way to single handedly cheat, go, lifetime ban.”

Tags: , , , , ,

The Paris Olympics are a month away and while much of the focus is on sewage in the River Seine, 

Congress is talking about doping. The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on what members say are failures of the  World Anti Doping Agency or WADA. 

To shine a light on the conversation, lawmakers brought in a GOAT – Michael Phelps. 

Michael Phelps, 23-time gold medalist: “I witnessed firsthand the pervasive uncertainty in the suspicions surrounding doping, // 20:59 The hardest part was seeing athletes achieve seemingly impossible feats, knowing the immense effort and sacrifices required to reach these heights cleanly.”

Members on both sides of the aisle accuse WADA of unevenly applying its rules to athletes from different countries. 

Lawmakers focused on an incident involving swimmers from China at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.  Before the games, 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for a banned substance; 13 of them ultimately competed in the olympics. They were given a pass because WADA accepted the explanation of Chinese officials that the athletes tested positive quote: “”… of their hotel. 

11 of those athletes are about to compete again in Paris. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA: “How many more Olympic athletes have to lose out on winning medals and proudly singing their country’s national anthem before the world. Anti Doping agency decides to enforce these rules, uniformly.” 

WADA was invited to testify but did not show. 

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ: “It’s really outrageous that WADA does not have the courage or integrity to show up and defend itself here tonight, WADA should be protecting clean sport and not hiding from accountability.”

In a six page document explaining the incident, WADA said: Some of [the swimmers] were tested on two or even three occasions on consecutive days. For several swimmers, the results varied from negative to positive within a few hours, which is not compatible with a doping scenario of deliberate ingestion nor with micro-dosing. 

The CEO of the US anti-doping agency cast doubt on that explanation. 

Travis Tygart, US Anti-Doping Agency CEO: “TMZ is a controlled prescription medication, it’s prohibited all the time, it doesn’t magically appear fairy dust in a kitchen.”

Tygart suggested an independent prosecutor be assigned to the case who can look at the evidence and athlete’s individual files. 

As for the athlete who dedicated his life to reaching greatness, he wants rule breakers banned. 

 

Michael Phelps, 23-time gold medalist: “If somebody does test positive, I would just like to see a lifetime ban. If somebody is going out of their way to cheat, go, lifetime ban. “

We have more olympics coverage on the Straight Arrow News app, including a report about how the olympics were at one point for amateur athletes only, no pros allowed.