The shadow of doping returns to hover over the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In the night between Thursday and Friday at the Tokyo Olympics the final of the 200 meters backstroke was held. It was won by the Russian Yevgeny Rylov, who also won the gold medal in the 100 meters on Tuesday. But the Russian’s second victory did not go down to the other two athletes who finished on the podium, the American Ryan Murphy and the British Luke Greenbank. After the match Murphy answered a question about Russia’s presence in the Olympics by saying: “I have at least fifteen thoughts in my head, thirteen of which can get me into trouble. I try not to get too involved, but it’s really tiring for me to go on all year knowing that my race is probably not clean. ”
Third place winner, Greenbank, responded shortly after saying more or less the same things as Murphy: “It is frustrating to know that there is a state-sponsored doping program underway and that nothing is being done to address it.” Murphy explained that his comments were not directed directly to Rylov, who has never been involved in the scandals, but in the presence of Russian athletes in Tokyo, who have won five medals in swimming so far, two of them gold.
Rylov responded to the comments by saying, “Ryan has every right to think and say what he wants to say. I don’t want to live in the past.
Rylov is one of the 330 Russian athletes who in Tokyo 2020 are represented neither by the flag nor by the national anthem, but by their Olympic Committee, as a sanction for the doping scandals uncovered in past years. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is still monitoring the situation in Russia, and two years ago it decided not to fully readmit its Olympic delegation due to the lack of cooperation of the Russian sports authorities.
In 2020, the Lausanne Sports Arbitration Tribunal halved Russia’s new doping ban from four to two years. However, the ruling did not allow the country to present a real delegation to the Tokyo Summer Olympics, and it will not allow it either at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the World Cup in Qatar of the same year.