Mahe Drysdale comfortable Rio regatta will be clean

  • 02/08/2016
Mahe Drysdale comfortable Rio regatta will be clean

Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale is confident the playing field has been somewhat levelled in the wake of the expulsion of a number of Russian rowers in the past week.

Five Russian competitors will line up during the regatta which starts this weekend but despite some scepticism around their inclusion, Drysdale doesn't have an issue with them escaping sanctions.

"It's unfortunate that our men's four missed out, but I'm very comfortable in rowing that the five athletes who are here have been tested outside of Russia a number of times [and] have been found to be clean, so they probably deserve to be here," he said.

"The good thing about that decision was they put in some very strict criteria as to what athletes would be accepted.

"Overall, the right athletes are probably here."

Drysdale believes that if the investigation had been cast wider, other athletes may have fallen into the same shadow as the Russians.

"There was a case that they should have all been banned but I also believe there are a number of other countries around the world who are very lucky to be here and lucky that they weren't the ones being investigated.

"I hope this whole situation puts us back into the spotlight and we start to have some standardised testing across the world."

As far as growing questions about the lake he will be competing on, the 37-year-old isn't too concerned that the New Zealand team will be as affected as others due to the experience of racing on Lake Karapiro.

"The lake is wider than normal, so when the wind blows from a certain side you get more waves coming through and it can be quite rough.

"No one likes rowing in the rough but we probably like it more than others."


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