Australia swim coach calls concern over Chinese doping scandal ahead of Olympics a ‘waste of energy’

A doping scandal plaguing the Chinese Swimming Association is already beginning to make its way into the Olympics after nearly a dozen members of the 31-person roster announced this week were reportedly athletes that previously tested positive for banned substances before the Tokyo Games. 

While several prominent figures in the sport have spoken out about the controversy, Australia swim coach Rohan Taylor believes seeing this situation as a distraction would be “a waste of energy.” 

China named its 31-member swim team for Paris on Tuesday, but according to multiple reports, 11 of those athletes were among the 23 swimmers that were accused of testing positive for a banned heart medication, trimetazidine. 

The New York Times reported in April that Chinese authorities determined the swimmers who had tested positive would not be punished because they had accidentally ingested the banned heart medication found in a hotel kitchen.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) later cleared those athletes, confirming that the swimmers tested positive in the months leading up to the start of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, but that Chinese authorities told the agency the positives were the result of contamination.

Paris Olympics flags on building


The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) seemingly clashed with the WADA over this, and several swimmers have voiced their concerns. 

Taylor, however, is encouraging his team to worry about what they can control. 

“I think for us, internally, we can only control what we can control,” he told Australia’s national broadcaster on Saturday. 

“The narrative is quite clear, and that’s all we can do. We have to trust that WADA and World Aquatics are going to continue to investigate, and that we are aligned with a clean sport.”

Rohan Taylor

“That’s where we are at the moment, and we’ll continue to monitor that, but as far as it’s distracting us in competition, I think it’s not a controllable thing for us,” he continued. 

“For it to be a distraction, I think it’s probably a waste of energy.”

WADA has hired an independent investigator to review how the organization handled the case. The findings of veteran Swiss prosecutor Eric Cottier have yet to be released. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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