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‘He was misinterpreted’: Olympic gold winner Rylov says fuss over US swimmer settled

Yevgeny Rylov stressed that Ryan Murphy meant that in his opinion not all athletes in the sport of swimming were clean and he did not mean a specific swim

TOKYO, July 30. /TASS/. US swimmer Ryan Murphy has apologized to Olympic gold winner Yevgeny Rylov for his statement at a news conference in Tokyo saying that his words were misinterpreted, according to Rylov’s statement posted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

Rylov won the gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. Ryan Murphy of the United States, who finished second, told reporters at a news conference that the race "probably wasn't clean." Later on, he explained, however, that he did not mean a specific swim, adding that he was talking about the general situation in the International Swimming Federation.

"We have exchanged messages along our Instagram accounts, clarifying everything personally to each other and [we] agreed that it was a misunderstanding and that his words were misinterpreted," the ROC cited Rylov as saying.

"He was asked what he thought in general about possible doping abuse in the sport of swimming," Rylov continued. "He replied that in his opinion not all athletes in this sport are clean. He has the right to express his personal opinion and most likely it is a problem somewhere."

"However, he was misinterpreted and his words were used in regards to our swim race, which was the final of the 200-meter backstroke event," the Olympic champion stated. "He wrote me a personal message and apologized for this misunderstanding at the news conference."

"I have already posted my personal opinion [on Internet] about this incident. Everything is all right now and there are no problems at all," he emphasized.

Earlier in the week, Rylov took home the gold in 100-meter men’s backstroke event, bringing his country the first Olympic gold in the sport of swimming in 25 years. He also clinched the Olympic silver in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay jointly with Martin Malyutin, Ivan Girev and Mikhail Dovgalyuk.

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan’s capital of Tokyo are being held this year between July 23 and August 8. In March 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan for one year due to the spread of COVID-19.

As of today, the Russian national team of athletes in Tokyo - participating as Team ROC (the Russian Olympic Committee) due to international sanctions against Russian sports - boasts 10 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze medals. Team ROC is currently in 4th place in the overall medals count.