Michael Phelps doesn't believe he's ever been at a truly clean international competition

House Holds Hearing On International Anti-Doping System

"I don't believe I've stood at an international competition and the rest of the field has been clean", the damning words from the all-time most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps as per the Daily Mirror.

Phelps was called in to give evidence to a US House of Representatives hearin that was looking at waysof improving anti-doping measures worldwide.

The US government provides funding to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and are looking into increasing the amount they give to them in an effort to fight against worldwide drug abuse in sport.

Speaking on whether he has ever felt that his sport of swimming has ever been played on a level-playing-field, Phelps argued that:

"I don't believe that. I don't think I've ever felt that. Internationally I think there has to be something done, and it has to be done now.

"Throughout my career, I have thought that some athletes were cheating and in some cases those suspicions were confirmed.

"Given all the testing I and others have been through, I have a hard time understanding this".

Phelps argued that life as an athlete is hard with all the constant monitoring of drug abuse, but said that the hassle is worth it if it stops people from resorting to performance-enhancing substances.

Phelps was tested 13 times prior to competing at the 2016 Rio games, often unannounced. There were 1,913 athletes across 10 'high-risk' sports that were never tested once.

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"For us, sometimes it's annoying when we get woken up at 6 o'clock in the morning but, you know what, I'll do that to make sure that we're all competing at a fair level.

"I wish I could say that about everybody else in the world".

For Phelps, it is an issue of consistency. It's understanable that someone of his Olympic might (he has won 28 medals across four separate Olympic games) would be tested so regularly, particularly considering his use of marijuana back in 2009, but for almost 2,000 athletes not to be tested for substance abuse even once strikes one as a big oversight.

An increase in US government funding for WADA could go a long way in ensuring that more tests take place before big sporting events.

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