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Michael Phelps criticizes WADA for allowing Chinese swimmers with doping records to participate in Paris 2024

The agency claims that the former Olympic swimmer's criticism stems from tension between the United States and China.

Michael Phelps(Cordon Press)

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Former U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps harshly criticized the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for allowing 11 Chinese swimmers who tested positive in a doping test before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympics.

"As athletes, our faith can no longer be blindly placed in the World Anti-Doping Agency,an organization that continues to prove that it is either incapable or unwilling to enforce its policies consistently around the world," the former swimmer said in an appearance before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Commerce.

Phelps, who has won 23 Olympic gold, three silver and two bronze medals, added that "There are still deeply rooted systemic problems that prove detrimental to the integrity of international sports and athletes’ right to fair competition, time and time again."

WADA hints that Phelps' remarks are the result of tension between the U.S. and China

WADA quickly responded to the criticism of arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time and the best in his sport.

WADA President Witold Banka issued a statement insinuating that Phelps' criticism is a result of the tense bilateral relations between the United States and China

"Unfortunately, there persists a narrative from some in the U.S. suggesting that WADA somehow acted inappropriately or showed bias towards China. WADA understands the tense relationship that exists between the governments of China and U.S."Witold Banka

"It is not appropriate for anti-doping to be politicized in this way. All it does is weaken confidence in the system, which ultimately does not benefit athletes from the U.S. or anywhere else. WADA always endeavors to protect clean sport and treat athletes fairly, regardless of where in the world they are from," he added.