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Ledecky says faith in anti-doping system at 'all-time low'

Seven-time Olympic swim champion Katie Ledecky of the United States says faith in some anti-doping systems "is at an all-time low" as the Paris Olympics draw near (AL BELLO)
Seven-time Olympic swim champion Katie Ledecky of the United States says faith in some anti-doping systems "is at an all-time low" as the Paris Olympics draw near (AL BELLO)

Seven-time Olympic swim champion Katie Ledecky says faith in anti-doping measures "is at an all-time low" after global officials allowed doping-positive Chinese swimmers to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 27-year-old American, whose Olympic and 21 world championship gold medals are the most by any female swimmer, spoke to CBS News for an interview to be broadcast on Sunday as she prepares for next month's US Olympic Trials and the Paris Olympics in July.

"It's hard going to Paris knowing that we're going to be racing some of these athletes," Ledecky said, according to the CBS News website.

"And I think our faith in some of the systems is at an all-time low."

In April, the New York Times reported 23 Chinese swimmers, two of whom competed against Ledecky and her US teammates in Tokyo, had tested positive for a banned substance only seven months before the Covid-delayed 2021 Games in Japan.

Chinese officials said the athletes ate contaminated food and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took no action, saying it could not disprove the possibility and that no appeal would be warranted.

"I think the whole case has to be re-examined independently and thoroughly and all the information needs to be out there," Ledecky said.

"In this instance, it doesn't seem like everything was followed to a T so I'd like to see some accountability here.

"I would like to see some answers as to why this happened the way it did and I would really like to see that steps are taken for the future so that we can regain some confidence in the global system."

Ledecky, who has a book coming out in June, has captured seven gold medals and three silver medals combined at the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

Ledecky said she tries not to consider that she might not be on a level field when it comes to other swimmers when he hits the water.

"You try not to think too much about (it) when you're actually racing and the best thing to do is to just go out there and try and win," she said.

"It's tough when you have in the back of your head that it's not necessarily an even playing field."

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