Tokyo Olympics: Rylov committed to clean competition amid Murphy comments

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The Russia Olympic Committee’s Rylov edged out American Murphy for the gold medal by 0.88 seconds in a new Olympic record time in Friday’s men’s 200m backstroke final, with Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank taking bronze.

In the men’s 100m backstroke final on Tuesday, Rylov had also beaten Murphy, who had won both the 100m and 200m in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

“I’ve got about 15 thoughts, 13 of them would get me into a lot of trouble,” Murphy said when asked if he felt the race was fair.

“I try not to get caught up in that. It is a huge mental drain on me to go throughout the year that I’m swimming in a race that’s probably not clean, and that is what it is.”

Murphy reiterated he was not identifying anyone specifically or making an allegations about any national team.

“To be clear, my intention is not to make any allegations here,” he said. “Congratulations to Evgeny and congratulations to Luke, I think they did an incredible job. They’re both incredible swimmers. At the end of the day, I do believe there’s doping in swimming.”

Rylov was asked directly about the allegations and whether he swims clean.

“I have always been for clean competition, I am always tested, I also fill out all the forms so from the bottom of my heart I’m for clean sports,” Rylov said.

“I am devoting my whole life to this sport, right, so I don’t even know how to react to that. Ryan didn’t accuse me of anything, therefore I’d rather not react.”

He added: “Honestly, I’m not aware of these comments so I cannot react to something I have not heard, so let me refrain from commenting on this, thank you. I’m not in a position to comment because I didn’t hear that.”

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Murphy revealed he had met with new FINA Executive Director Brent Nowicki where they had discussed doping in the sport but was told it would be a long battle.

“When you hear that from the top, it’s tough to hear,” Murphy said.

“I think the thing that’s frustrating is you can’t answer that question with 100 per cent certainty [that the race was clean].

“I think over the years, that’s going to come out. I can’t answer that question. I don’t know if it was 100 per cent clean and that’s because of things that have happened over the past.”

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