Ledecky says faith in Olympic anti-doping policies at ‘all-time low’

Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest female swimmers of all time, said her trust in anti-doping policies at the Olympics is at an ‘all-time low’ ahead of the 2024 Paris Summer Games following the latest doping scandal.

‘It’s hard going into Paris knowing that we’re gonna be racing some of these athletes,’ Ledecky said in an interview with ‘CBS Sunday Morning,’ which airs on Sunday. ‘It’s tough when you have in the back of your head that it’s not necessarily an even playing field.’

In April, The New York Times reported that 23 Chinese swimmers quietly tested positive for the same banned substance, trimetazidine, prior to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed the report and said it didn’t push for the Chinese swimmers to be punished at the time because it had accepted the findings of a Chinese investigation, which said the positive tests were caused by contamination at a hotel kitchen. (Trimetazidine is the banned substance at the heart of the controversy involving Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.)

Ledecky, who is preparing for her fourth Olympic Games after competing in London in 2012, Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo in 2021, said she needs to ‘see some accountability’ so she and her fellow athletes can ‘regain some confidence in the global system.’

‘In this instance, it doesn’t seem like everything was followed to a T. So, I’d like to see some accountability here,’ said Ledecky, who holds world records in the women’s 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle. ‘I’d like to see some answers as to why this happened the way it did. And I’d really like to see that steps are taken for the future.’

The U.S. Olympic swimming trials begin in Indianapolis on June 15.

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