'More needs to be done' to ensure clean swimming races, insists British bronze medallist Luke Greenbank

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Great Britain's Luke Greenbank was left with questions after his bronze medal-winning swim (Picture: Reuters)
Great Britain's Luke Greenbank was left with questions after his bronze medal-winning swim (Picture: Reuters)

From Charlie Bennett in Tokyo

Luke Greenbank questioned the legitimacy of the 200m backstroke final after a doping war of words broke out at the Olympic Games.

The 23-year-old swimmer won bronze behind Russia’s Evgeny Rylov and USA’s Ryan Murphy but the biggest headline came from the press conference.

In his post-race interview, silver medallist Murphy alleged the race was “probably not clean” – referencing Russia’s state-sponsored doping programme that saw them hit with a two-year international sport ban.

Russian athletes who have proven they were not involved are allowed to compete under the Russian Olympic Committee name.

And Greenbank, who trains at Loughborough University, agreed it has left a sour taste, though neither he or Murphy mentioned Rylov by name.

'It's obviously a very difficult situation not knowing whether who you are racing against is clean,” said Greenbank, whose Team GB exploits in Tokyo will be broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+.

TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS - WILD, GOLDEN SCENES AT BMX, DRAMA IN THE POOL AND TRACK ACTION HITS TOKYO - MORNING UPDATE
TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS - WILD, GOLDEN SCENES AT BMX, DRAMA IN THE POOL AND TRACK ACTION HITS TOKYO - MORNING UPDATE

“It is something that is part of the sport. And more needs to be done to tackle that."

Rylov categorically denied he's doping and Greenbank has refused to let the saga detract from his happiness with a bronze medal at his first Olympic Games.

He reached the 50m mark in second place behind Rylov – who led from start to finish – and was overtaken by Murphy before halfway.

However, he comfortably held off USA’s Bryce Mefford for bronze and punched the air at the end, as he became Team GB’s first ever 200m backstroke medallist.

“I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet though I am sure it will. I am over the moon with that, the race was a really good one,” he added.

TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS - TEAM GB SHINE ON FANTASTIC FRIDAY WITH BMX GLORY AND DRAMA IN THE POOL
TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS - TEAM GB SHINE ON FANTASTIC FRIDAY WITH BMX GLORY AND DRAMA IN THE POOL

“The main feeling is relief, just to come here and swim close to my best and get a medal is a dream come true. It would be great to go faster every time I swim but it doesn’t work like that.

“I stuck to my race strategy, I knew what I was doing going into the race and to hit another 1:54 is another win.

“It is quite a big occasion and I try not to let the nerves get the better of me, I tend to swim best when I have a cool head and I know what I am doing.

“Here, it is all about positions rather than times and it is a very unique situation where by we have finals in the morning so it is not comparable.

“I am happy with the time and the race.”

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, The Streaming Home of the Olympics.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting