American swimmer Lilly King sounded off after the president of the Russian Olympic Committee team suggested the medals won at the Tokyo Olympics are the “best answer” to critics who question their presence at the Games following previous doping scandals.
“There are a lot of people here that should not be here,” said King, who has won a silver and a bronze medal in Tokyo.
King’s comments came after president Stanislav Pozdnyakov said critics suggested Russian athletes “can’t compete without doping,” but that the athletes in Tokyo “proved the opposite not just with words, but with their deeds and results.”
King went on to say: “I wasn’t racing anyone from a country who should have been banned and instead got a slap on the wrist and rebranded their national flag. So, I personally wasn’t as affected. But Ryan (Murphy) was.”
After it was revealed that Russia launched a massive, state-sponsored program to elude doping testers in 2014, the team was banned from the Olympics as punishment.
King has been critical of Russian athletes in the past, specifically after she defeated rival Yulia Efimova — a swimmer who had been at the center of Russia’s doping scandal — for gold in the 100m breaststroke at the Rio Olympics.
Russia’s name, flag and anthem were barred from the Games following a legal battle with the World Anti-Doping Agency. After competing under the name OAR — Olympic Athletes from Russia — at the 2018 Winter Games, the athletes are competing in Japan as the Russian Olympic Committee.
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