Speak out against doping - Phelps

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Speak out against doping - Phelps
  • Phelps urges athletes to speak out against doping
  • France’s Lacourt also hits out

US swimmer Michael Phelps has backed his compatriot Lilly King’s attitude towards her fellow Olympic competitor, Russian Yulia Efimova, who has twice tested positive for banned substances.

Phelps is full of admiration for his 19-year-old team mate.

“We have some tough young kids in our team and I think that is something special,” he told reporters in Rio.

“It is kind of sad that today, in sports in general, not just in swimming, there are people who are testing positive and are allowed back in the sport, and multiple times.”

French reaction

France’s Camille Lacourt, a three-times backstroke world champion, added his voice to the debate after taking fifth place in the 100m backstroke final.

He urged FINA, the international federation, to act tough on dopers.

“I am very sad to see how my sport is evolving. It’s like I am seeing athletics with two or three dopers in every final,” he was quoted as saying by French media.

“I hope FINA will react quickly and stop this massacre because it is becoming sad. They have nothing to do in sport, I am disgusted to see athletes who have cheated on the podium.”

Lacourt’s comments came after Sun Yang won the 200 metres freestyle on Monday.

The Chinese swimmer tested positive in 2014.


King, who beat the twice-banned Russian in the 100 metres breaststroke final on Monday, did not hide her displeasure at Efimova.

She wagged her finger at the Russian before calling her a drug cheat.

The pair exchanged angry glances before King told reporters she was not happy with the Russian being allowed to compete.

Efimova appeal

Efimova was only allowed to compete at the Games after winning an appeal against a ban for previous doping.

She has been booed every time she has appeared poolside in Rio.