WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) — Testifying before a congressional hearing on improving anti-doping measures, Michael Phelps expresses frustration over seeing others cheat and says athletes need to believe the system works.
The retired swimmer says Tuesday he has a hard time understanding how athletes get around anti-doping tests and that when they do, it’s “disillusioning.” Phelps, the most decorated Olympian, with 28 medals, asks the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to help “ensure the system is fair and reliable.”
While Phelps says the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s demanding drug testing process “takes a toll,” he adds that it’s worth it to “keep the sport clean and fair.”
Phelps says he doesn’t believe he has always been in competitions in which the entire field was clean. He says he hopes one day someone will break his record of 28 Olympic medals, but says that person needs “a fair opportunity to compete.”
Shot putter Adam Nelson, who received a gold medal after the original winner at the 2004 Athens Olympics tested positive for doping, told his story and now asks Congress to “give meaning to my medal.” Nelson picked up his gold medal at the food court at the Atlanta airport but says it didn’t mean the same.