Are Katinka Hosszu’s Performances Being Aided?

Commentary by Casey Barrett

Katinka Hosszu is the best all-around swimmer on earth right now… What everyone is talking about, but no one wants to say… 

There is no proof. There never is, not when it matters, not when it’s needed most. So, this is what happens: the coaches grumble; the experts roll their eyes; the athletes offer lukewarm congrats at the end of each eye-popping race. Everyone talks, but no one speaks up. She has never failed a drug test, and without that proof positive test it’s all just jealous hearsay.

Except the chatter can often be true, and the visual evidence – on the body and the scoreboard – generally doesn’t lie.

Our latest Exhibit A: Hungary’s “Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu. FINA’s reigning World Swimmer of the Year; three-time world champion; holder of five short course meter world records; and the woman who, last fall, became the first swimmer ever to surpass $1 million earned solely in prize money in the pool. She did this, of course, by globe-trotting the World Cup circuit and swimming a superhuman number of races at almost every stop.

This has resulted in a considerable amount of fawning press from the world’s swimming media. “Iron Lady” has a certain brand-name ring to it, and Hosszu keeps the headlines pumping. No one competes, consistently, at a higher level than she does. Repeat – no one, ever. Not Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky and certainly not Ryan Lochte, who’s always tended to look like a beaten slow sack of chiseled flesh when he races while immersed in heavy training. But not Hosszu. Her consistency, her ability to recover, and her never-flagging form continues without breakdown, regardless of when or where the race is going down.

Consider last weekend at the Charlotte Arena Pro Swim Series. Hosszu raced in seven individual events. She won six: the 200 free and the 400 IM on day one; the 200 fly and 100 back on day two (along with a why-not 9th in the 400 free); and the 200 IM and 200 back on day three. It was that last double on the third day that caught many eyes. Within a sixteen minute span, Hosszu posted the top time in the world this year in the 200 IM (2:08.66) and returned after a gasp of a warm-down later with a 200 back in 2:07.79, the third fastest time on earth this year. Not bad for an in-season meet that witnessed most of the superstars in attendance plodding through some very tired, in-training swims.

Since London, this has been a pretty standard meet’s showing for Hosszu. She’s always entered in a bounty of events and she always tends to deliver incredible performances every time she touches water. I understand the whole Ultra-Short Race-Pace Training (USRPT) philosophy now in vogue, being popularized and questioned through the exploits of young Michael Andrew, yet Hosszu’s travel-the-world-collect-the-cash training program stretches the limits of even that dubious science.

No one wants to come out and point fingers. But I’m not alone, and past signposts point down some dark roads.

For the last year or so, I’ve been immersed in writing a documentary called “The Last Gold.” It’s a film about the tragedy of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, when the last of the innocent days of Olympic sport were lost. A doped East German team of women appeared on the Olympic landscape and they forever corrupted the sport. Lives were altered and shattered, on both sides, and we’ve never viewed athletic performance in quite the same way again.

One driving narrative of our film is the failure of the press to speak up in the face of such obvious corruption. In retrospect, and even in the present tense, it was beyond obvious what was going on. We were witnessing female bodies be distorted to unnatural strength and power, and they were delivering performances that could not be explained by any rational observer. Those in the know knew what was going on, but there was no proof. So no one said much of anything. Instead, the press labeled the few brave souls who spoke out, like Shirley Babashoff, sore losers. When in fact, these were the truth tellers, the ones outraged by the ugly facts hiding in plain sight.

Nothing has changed. Forty years later, it continues to happen, in every sport, every time there’s a champion who stretches plausible achievement in ways that don’t quite pass the bullshit test for anyone paying attention. For years I reveled as the blasphemous bastard who loved to incense my Lance-loving friends (especially those who liked to ride bikes) by calling Lance Armstrong a liar and a cheat and the worst kind of athlete scum ever to compete in any sport. That’s what he was, and is, and sometimes it’s a damn shame to be right.

Secretly, every cynic hopes to be wrong.

I hope my suspicions are wrong now. It’s just that there’s a distinct smokey aroma around Katinka Hosszu’s performances these last two years. And where there’s smoke… Hell, finish the cliché yourself. Instead, I’ll share this indelicate comment made by a close friend when I first told him I was thinking of addressing this. Said he: “Being surprised that Hosszu might be doping is like going to a strip club and being surprised that the strippers have fake tits!” Apologies if that offends anyone’s delicate sensibilities. Sometimes the best similes are the crude ones.

For all of Hosszu’s incredible achievements there is one rather glaring omission from her resumé. She has never won an Olympic medal. Not gold, which is the prerequisite for American greatness in swimming, I mean any color medal. Curious for an athlete so utterly dominant in her sport for years on end. It also may go a long way in explaining her current status as not only the best, but the most speculated about swimmer in the world.

Last month, NBC Sports.com published a story about how Hosszu emerged from depression after the 2012 London Olympics, when she placed 4th in her signature event, the 400 IM. She expected gold. In her own words, she “gave up” with two laps to go and despite having more events on her program, she admitted that “my Olympics was pretty much done. I wanted to go home.”

Her spirit, she says, was shattered by the swimmer who won that 400 IM in London. 16-year-old Ye Shiwen of China, who blistered through the final 100 meters in a split so fast (58.68) that it seemed impossible for a woman – that is, without the help of performance enhancement. There was outraged talk that Ye had to be doped, some of it bordering on the xenophobic. True or not, most believed it. Did Hosszu? That’s only for her to say.

Yet, here’s one thing that we’ve learned in producing a documentary that centers around doping and the dark clouds that circle it. There is one prerequisite for athletes who dope: They must convince themselves that their competition is doing it. That is the only thing that can validate crossing this line.

In 2012, Katinka Hosszu’s spirit was crushed by a performance achieved through dubious means. Ever since, she has been the one standing atop every podium.

Note: The Hungarian Swimming Federation issued a statement defending Katinka Hosszu after this commentary was posted. Read Statement

The above commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

152 Comments

152 comments

    • avatar
      Hohoho

      I like the comparison with East German swimmers except in 1988 olympics a little girl called Krisztina Egerszegi beat all of them and she was smaller on the podium than the second and third place athlete on lower steps. She must have doped too without the muscels.. Get a grip!

  1. Mindy Dougherty

    Wow..a story about nothing..good work swimming world:(..how about reporting actual events..

    • Chris Li

      This is most definitely an opinion piece. Let the author have her opinion, and move on. It is definitely something to consider when looking at any long and sudden period of success on such a consistent level. Yes, most will give Katinka the benefit of the doubt that her training and talent have propelled her to such a high level of performance, but there is validity in questioning such insanely fast, numerous, and consistent times in-season. Nobody, I think, wants to think Katinka is doping: it’s simply a valid concern that should be considered.

      • avatar
        Jukka Attilai

        The authors is a he, as far as I know…..Has it been changed while I was not paying attention?

    • Jón Bjarnason

      This so called “opinion piece” has no place here, in my opinion.
      Btw, I’ve unliked this page.

      • avatar
        100swimmer

        Yes but you’ll be back to to read articles like them or not–why? because you want to see what they have to say. At least SW allows you to comment. Love this, bring these taboo topics out in the open. Let the opinions fly! ” it get’s the people talking”

      • avatar
        Jukka Attilai

        Completely agree! This is an article of bad taste, backed up by some political maneuvering.

    • Ildiko Szekely

      Chris, her success is not sudden if you actually followed her career. While everyone is entitled to an opinion, no other, hate to say American, swimmer gets such scrutiny for his/her body type, let alone longevity of success. And without name dropping any of those athletes, there are plenty of them.

    • Zsolt Gaspar

      Chris. You are a moron. Her “sudden success” started about 6 years ago, if u have followed her collegian swimming career. Should we assume that Lebron James is doping as well, just because he jumps higher, dribbles better, shoots more effectively then other players.
      Why don’t you just try to train as hard as her and dedicate your whole life to become somebody who inspires generations of future swimmers.

    • avatar
      AvantSwim

      This is a terrible surprise coming from Swimming World. I love you guys.

      But even an “opinion” piece must base its opinions on fact, not one which is established here.

      To start an article with “What everyone is talking about, but no one wants to say…” is beyond rudimentary argument or analysis: an unnamed consensus, “everyone,” elicited as some sort of hook, or point to the article.

      This may not be libelous, but goes beyond weak and sloppy commentary into something patently unethical: who are these people, the “everyone” making these accusations against Hosszu? Indeed, the only person making these statements is clearly the writer himself, who without a shread of evidence, without one person to go on the record–not one bold journalist, not one “grumbling” coach or “eye-rolling” swimmer, not even a crazed conspiracy theorist–has to cower into insinuation instead, evoking the somehow evident truth that “everyone” is talking about this. Is the writer so out of story ideas that he must resort to “reporting” on a rumor, one which he is actually establishing himself?

      If the writer thinks Hosszu is doping, he should have the courage to state his opinion in clear language and, perhaps, suffer the consequences. As it is, this piece is simply odorous.

      • avatar
        AvantSwim

        And, for note , the stripper comparison shows such equal tone-deafness and analytic seriousness. I am not “offended” at all, just sorry I ever had to read such a stereotypical, gendered, club-footed comparison, and that again, this “friend” won’t go on the record.

  2. avatar
    OAC

    Whatever you think, find it shocking that this libelous piece was ever allowed to be published. Absolutely zero proof, and I suspect if she was an American athlete, she would be hailed a hero. Disappointing SW.

  3. Kimón Papp

    How can you possibly say all this stuff without any concrete proof?

  4. Giacomo Maida

    Simply jealousy.
    I think that if Katinka had been an American swimmer, you would have almost certainly written a different kind of article.
    There are lots of American swimmers that achieve the same results (or even more). None say that there is a “distinct smokey aroma” around their performances. Moreover there are others that won the gold at the Olympics in London and then… they have disappeared again… this is a little strange in my opinion. In addition Hungary has always shown its tradition in swimming!
    So, why should Katinka be suspected? Maybe this judgment is just a question of nationality: you are not American? so you can’t be so successful.

    • Jim Christian

      “If Katinka was American…”

      Plenty of Americans were very suspicious of Lance Armstrong.

    • Giacomo Maida

      In fact I specified “American SWIMMER”…

    • Giacomo Maida

      In fact I specified “American SWIMMER”…Anyway… in my opinion, the point is not about the author’s nationality, but about the swimmer’s one. Because it seems that only American swimmers are “allowed” to set world records and achieve great performances in a “honest” way.
      Maybe in the next months/years I may be proved wrong … by science. Now I can just recognize her talent..

    • Jonathan Minier

      Pretty much all the hungarian team is on drugs, like gyurta for example, he’s one of my favorite swimmers but its reality

    • Dirk G. Winkler

      blue eyed … all nations dope their athletes… China, Japan, Russia, Brasil, Germany etc, the latest big scandal was about Russia, don’t you remember? is only a few months ago that it was proven that the highest up officials were involved…most of the sports diplomats or whatever they are called set the qualification standards for athlete so high that an un-aided athlete cannot achieve them… it is not if they take performance enhancers and or what country they come from, but who can hide it the best and who has the newest ” undetectable” drugs….I remember Phelps swimming a crazy program in Beijing and succeeding… loads of people suspected him too… but nothing ever was found…so Katinka or any other athlete that delivers superhuman performances can only be suspected until all athletes that compete internationally are tested monthly at least once…. all of them… starting 2 years out from any Olympics…

    • Ildiko Szekely

      Of course she is doping, she is Hungarian. Come on people. Shame on you! And Chris, the Author is Canadian, but spent his entire life in the US. That’s as American as it gets. And who cares what nationality you are- smearing an athlete’s credentials just because she is strong and successful is baseless and disgusting. Comparing her to East Germans! I am saddened by the lack of support athletes get for their incredible investment into the sport.

    • avatar
      Jukka Attilai

      Me too!!!

    • Aaron Wands

      He didn’t spend his entire life in the US. He was born and raised in Canada, went to High school and college here. That’s not as” American as it gets”. And nobody has said anything about Hosszu’s nationality. You’re just pissed because YOU are Hungarian. So you created a strawman argument. Of course, you ignored the arguments made in the article and pretended that it has anything to do with nationality. Nice job at obfuscating facts.

  5. Sean Banerjee

    This is tactless. These sorts of crass and baseless opinions have no place in the sport we all love.

    Now on the other hand, if there is proof – get all that prize money back and donate it to building a new pool in Zimbabwe.

  6. Perttu Super

    So the proof include things like “physical evidence” and some people “rolling their eyes.” This article is simply a troll, right? To get more visitors to your page? Sort of sensationalist populism like in the yellow press?

  7. avatar
    omg

    And what does the author think about the other supertalents (for example Ledecky)?

  8. Shane Layman

    Wow. I think it’s an insult of the highest regard when you question the accomplishments of a swimmer who has worked so hard for her accomplishments when there is no proof whatsoever. To insult that is to insult their whole life’s work. Find proof then write a story. Can’t express how much I hate writers that try to create stories off of speculation at the expense of someone else.

    • Peter Nagy

      Right. He is a f**king jew

    • Heather Chait Roque

      ….you’re a f**king bigoted anti semite..hang your head Peter, hang your head…

      • avatar
        George Clooney

        Woah Heather. Woaaah. I believe Peter meant “f**king jew” in a positive way. If he was really anti-Semitic he could have displayed it thusly: “You f**kin jew don’t you dare arrest me, I’m George f**kin Clooney, got it sugar tits???” See, now that’s some ignorant dumbass stuff right there. I’m George f**kin Clooney.

  9. Giorgio Scala

    It’s a one of those typical stone thrown trying goofily to hide the hand. There are several great swimmers, many from USA who’ve won tons of gold, never failed a doping test. Are they under suspicion?
    To be clean you must be an american? Ask Marion Jones.

  10. Jón Bjarnason

    When did this stop beeing Swimming World News?
    What a sad sad sad piece of “work”

    • Jón Bjarnason

      “Like Us If You Want Trusted Aquatic News, Training, Technique, and Cool Articles”
      No I don’t trust you, no this is not news, and it is not and will never be, a cool article.

  11. yeah like ledecky wich certently looks like a man..she even has mpb from the drugs she uses..but no one notice because she is american athlete..its right there..

  12. avatar
    Old John

    Mr. Barrett has simply had the courage to say aloud what the vast majority of swimmers and swimming fans have been thinking recently. He was very clear at the beginning of his article that he has no proof, since Hosszu has never tested positive. But Hosszu’s build alone ought to cause suspicion among the cognoscenti. If you have any doubts about that, compare photographs of her in college to photographs of her now. Most athletes realize it’s simply impossible to just change builds like that without artificial help.

    Thank you Mr. Barrett, for saying what so many of us have thought. Many of your doubters here probably also believed in lance Armstrong until the last minute.

    One piece of advice, though; if you’re going to give voice to a “controversial” opinion, you’re better off keeping your language clean, otherwise that just gives people another reason to attack you.

    • avatar
      coacherik

      There is nothing courageous about this. This same author on his own blog never wrote an article about suspicion of Michael Phelps for his heroic, never been seen 8 gold medals. Where was the doubt then? Dara Torres in all her comebacks? Nope. Ye from China, he defended her and called her accusations xenophobic. Katie Ledecky? Nothing about her rise to prominence and possible cheating. He says in one line, one sentence, I hope I’m wrong. All of this, “it doesn’t pass the smell test” talk despite her never testing positive.

      We can agree on one thing. You want to be taken seriously Barrett, you should probably not use the word tits in your opinion piece. This has all been done in very poor form.

    • avatar
      ???

      There does not seem to be any foundation to these claims. Why not claim the same thing then about Katie Ledecky? I think this article is unfounded.

    • avatar
      AvantSwim

      You write: “the vast majority of swimmers and swimming fans have been thinking recently.” I would take just one to come on the record. Not even the writer himself is bold enough to say it.

      Utter nonsense.

  13. Ildiko Szekely

    Wonder if she were American, this article would sing a different tune.

    • Aaron Wands

      The author isn’t American. Just sayin

    • Ildiko Szekely

      Oh, sorry Aaron Wands, he was born in Canada… swam at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, went to Bolles School, in Jacksonville, Florida and went University of Southern California and Southern Methodist University… Yup, I say he is definitely not American.

    • Aaron Wands

      Hrm, many swimmers from other countries train here and go to college here. That doesn’t make them American. Martin Zubero went to Bolles School and swam for University of Florida and then went on to win a gold medal in the Olympics for SPAIN. I guess by your logic the USA should claim that gold medal?

      Think before posting.

    • Ildiko Szekely

      Haha You know nothing, Aaron Wands… You should take your own advice…

    • Aaron Wands

      LOL wow, nice job of COMPLETELY IGNORING what I said.

      I know I was right and you were wrong. Again, think before posting. MMkay?

  14. avatar
    omg

    It has nothing to do with courage, it is something else.

  15. avatar
    Eric Lahmy

    I do nor understand why people do noit see the obvious thing. Katinka Hosszu is the only professionnal swimmer who works like a professionnal swimmer, from the beginning to the end of the race. She is allways perfecting the things, and she has a strategy, and she loves her life because she trains with her husband (look at Coughlin: (why do you continue toi swim? – For this, for that, because my husband is a coach!”) and she has a plan, to open a swimming school… The fact that she did not win an Olympic race does not mean anything. It was the beginning of the story. The body changes are nothing. They can be attained by training and diet. And you know, you cannot be doped when you smile like that, when you are so happy. I allways remarked that doped swimmers were unhappy. The East Germans, the Chinese, the Americans swimmers did not LOOK happy. I see two superhappy women in swimming today, Melissa Franklin and Katinka Hosszu. (And many others look happy too.)

    • avatar
      Gergely Tasnady

      Your every words are true. 🙂

  16. Niles Keeran

    One never questioned the East Germans who were helping the Chinese attain a level of performance when FINA was looking hte otther way from the 1970’s for the cheating Germans to the cheating Chinese in the 1980’s and beyond. Of course PEDs can not be weeded out of all swimmers all the time every place.

  17. Mark Bull

    Precisely why I no longer subscribe to swimming world magazine. You don’t think she gets drug tested at just about every meet? It is pretty standard for medalists to get tested here in aus so if imagine similar in the us and on the World Cup circuit. She races once a month at least so when is this “doping” to be taking place un noticed. It is not unusual for a swimmer to not have peaked at their first international meet then go on a spree… Olympics are every 4 years so if you don’t do well at that one it’s a long time to wait to prove sceptics wrong.

  18. avatar

    I honestly think this is really offensive towards Katinka Hosszu. I follow her on all social media and she trains ALOT.I mean A lot. She even said that after the 2012 Olympics, she trained super hard to never feel “depressed again. Maybe she is doping, on steroids or whatever but before the its actually proven. Please don’t make any assumptions.

  19. avatar
    Leander

    Maybe you should read up on libel law, perhaps starting with New York Times v. Sullivan, before offering legal opinions. I would consider defending a libel suit against Swimming World for posting this article on a pro bono basis (that means it would be free for Swimming World).

  20. avatar
    Hulk Swim

    Booo. Garbage.

    The comparison to Lochte is especially stupid. Who says she’s ever in those same high training loads? In fact, everything I’ve read says just the opposite. Booooo.

  21. Mirko Petrov

    Disappointed to read this. Didn’t SwimmingWorld have her as your cover girl and now your throwing her under the bus with no evidence? Not sure why you would publish this.

  22. TJ Johnson

    Well I suspect she may be PEDs but it’s not responsible for a major swim news source to publish an article like this. To the guy who commented Ledecky looked like a man …No evidence of PEDs there and she’s a teenage girl so that comment was out of line

    • so what if she is a teen?everyone say that in practice she can go head to head with men champions!is that normal?look at her body..its obvious that she is on male hormones..im not saying that hozzu isnt but come on take a look at your athletes..ledecky is 100% on t-suppl.

  23. avatar
    John

    No-one blinks an eye when Ledecky drops a huge amount from the US trials to the London Olympics.

  24. avatar
    Michael Stott

    I never thought of Katinka Hosszu in a doping context and I have no opinion on the matter. However, I just finished reading cyclist Tyler Hamilton’s 2012 autobiography entitled THE SECRET RACE. It is a fascinating account of life on the professional tour, complete with details on the sport’s drug-fueled culture. It’s publication pre-dates Lance Armstrong’s confession on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but it is instructive to read it and to consider the dynamics, denials and triumphs in light of sport today.

  25. avatar
    gramos

    Dear swimming world, this is the second purely speculative piece in two months that you have chosen to post. The first being the awful open letter to WKU swimming. Clearly this is the path you are going down, so thank you for the past articles that used to be full of insight and relevant to the swimming community. Personally, I dont think this type of article belongs in a “trade” magazine. I will be unfollowing SW and not renewing any subscription.

    • avatar
      Pro Swimming World

      An ostrich can only put his head in the ground so many times before he has to come up for some fresh air. Thank You Swimming World for allowing opinions to be viewed.

    • avatar
      swimmer

      I think this article is VERY relevant to the swimming community & all sports in general, you’ve had your head under the water for to long if you don’t thinks it’s relevant.

    • avatar

      Katinka Ingabogovinanana. Check mate.

  26. avatar
    Kent Johnson

    Although I don’t really follow swimming all that closely anymore, the content of this article has probably been discussed to death in the shadows and back halls of many meets….Mr. Barrett has the guts to publish these thoughts and whispers. Back when Casey and I swam these same thoughts came up about a few swimmers and many many years later some of them were caught…. There appears to be plenty of smoke here.

    • avatar
      100swimmer

      I agree.

  27. avatar
    ScotCoach

    3 things here:

    The author is entitled to his opinion but such articles can be kept to his blog. For SWM to publish such work is really disappointing. Amazing how one post can make an organisation lose respect and credibility, and for me SWM, you lost a lot of that today with this type of publishing.

    Secondly, Katinka is far from sudden in her development. At age 16 in the 2005 European Junior Champs she had the following results: 2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze – 200 free 2:02 (also 2:01 in a relay), 400 free 4:14, 800 free 8:43, 400 IM 4:45, and a 56.7 freestyle relay split.

    So 10 years to get from there to where she is now – with total dedication, incredible attitude and commitment to multiple racing (just even trying to do what no one has ever done before is admirable), hard work day in day out, living a professional swimming lifestyle all year round, one to one coaching (since meeting her husband). Doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility to me.

    And finally, the last time I checked, USA were dominating the medals table at the Worlds and Olympics. Don’t point the finger at outstanding European or Asian swimmers if you’re not going to point it at outstanding Americans too – the results of Phelps, Lochte, Ledecky, Franklin etc and countless others over the years should all require published suspicion too otherwise.

  28. avatar
    TXSwimmer

    Interesting opinion piece. I’m not totally sure what to think, but I hope she is clean. I had the opportunity to watch Hosszu workout in Texas. First thing I noticed is she has an incredible and strong body. Not an East German swimmer body mind you, but more like a strong and lean triathlete who clearly paid attention to the whole body. Second, before she even got in the water she warmed up with an uninterrupted ~20-30 minute jump rope…. wearing an elevation training mask! Third, she was definitely shooting for race speed throughout her workout. In short, I think and hope this lady is working harder and smarter… and thinking about that last 100m in London for motivation.

  29. avatar
    Clive Rushton

    Casey, Casey, Casey, have you closey examined her micro cycle design and formed a complete understanding of the physiological implications? Thought not.

  30. avatar
    Vinh

    Lance Armstrong was an American hero.

    • avatar
      MimI

      And so are still Phelps, Lochte, Ledecky! Why were THEIR names not mentioned in this article?

    • avatar
      Mimi

      And so are still Phelps, Lochte and Ledecky, to name a few. Why were THEIR names not mentioned in this article??

  31. That’s the fall back position of jealous jerk ass’s who aren’t as good as she is. They said the same thing about Michael Phelps. Unless I see proof of drug use, like she suddenly drops massive amounts of time or she suddenly grows huge muscles than I’ll be suspicious.

    • avatar
      Danjohnrob

      The article you posted a link for suggests that INVESTIGATIVE journalism plays a role in preventing doping scandals. There is no evidence in this article to suggest that Mr Barrett interviewed Ms Hosszu about her training or observed her methods. There is not even any statistical analysis of her results that might cast doubt upon them. While everybody is entitled to their opinions, they are not the same as investigative journalism! If this website had a section where fans could submit opinion pieces they have written, perhaps this article might belong there; however, this article came up when I clicked on the “news” heading. I literally came to this site for the first time this week; now I am questioning whether or not it is a reliable source for swimming information!

  32. avatar
    Disappointed

    Typical American response to any athlete from another country that’s better than them.

  33. avatar
    TGregory

    Katinka’s body has changed noticeably since the European swimming championships in Budapest in 2006. She swam in lane 8 of the finals of the 400 meters freestyle, a race won by Laure Manaudou in a then-world record 4:02.13. As the introductions were done lane by lane, we got a good look at each swimmer (You Tube: Laure Manaudou sur 400 m 2006 Budapest). Katinka was an athletic looking teenaged girl, with curves outward from her waist to her hips. Her shoulders were broad, her back was rounded, and she had long, strong arms and legs (she qualified 8th with a 4:13.61, a great time, as anyone who swims will tell you, and not that far off what she could do today, which I guesstimate would be between 4:05 and 4:09. She seems to use it more as a training/warm-up/warm-down event in her multi-event meet routines). In 2015 (nine years of dedicated training later) the athletic frame is filled in with muscle. Her shoulders, back, and arms are cut, and rippling abs and obliques are where the curves from her waist to her hips used to be.

  34. avatar
    Victor Passenheim

    There’s no comparing Hosszu’s performances to Ye Shiwen. Ye came out of nowhere at 16yo to swim an IM final 100 as fast as Lochte. That’s insane. You can, however, compare her favorably with the likes of Phelps and Ledecky. One forgets that Ledecky has beaten Hosszu several times in dual meet competition. Ledecky is 8 years younger than Hosszu. Are we to infer that Ledecky’s performances are also being “aided”? Hosszu was beaten several times by Mireia Belmonte at short course worlds – is Belmonte also being aided? Phelps swam numerous times at the 2008 Olympics where his turnaround was comparable to Hosszu’s and did so posting world-class times – are we to infer that his performances were “aided”? The same can be said for Missy Franklin at London 2012. Add to that the fact that Hosszu is not a Johnny-come-lately to the game. Her performance are consistent with no massive time drops and they have been consistent for the better part of a decade.

    Post this comment or not, but really this article should have been vetted better and while we’re at it, is it not OBVIOUS the motivation for having published it on SW’s site to begin with?

    For her part, I think Hosszu should decline interviews from SW or its representatives until there’s an apology and a retraction. Without ANY sort of evidence, this is simply disgrace trash talk.

  35. Jessica Fry

    Super disappointed this was posted on SW. Let this guy find his own venue to broadcast this. You are better than that SW!

  36. avatar
    love swim

    This is incredibly disrespectful to Katinka and all her dedication to the sport of swimming! Speculation or slander of an amazing athlete with no proof is nothing but hate. Maybe some Americans should reduce their body fat. They may find out females athletes can/do have muscles without necessarily doping. There are dietary changes and/or training that can produce the same results of a lean feminine physique. I think Americans are so used to seeing overweight to obese as normal, they find lean bodies abnormal. It is a shame! I think a public apology should be instated by SW and the author.

  37. avatar
    Brian Johns

    The comment about media, both currently mythologizing the ‘Iron Lady’ and the East German women, reminds me of the Home Run race between McGwire and Sosa. Everybody that was so excited that baseball was relevant and interesting after the strike that the media did a poor job of being critical of the performances that they were seeing and it has tarnished not only the legacy of those athletes, but also players who played in the same era and performed without PED’s.

    Bill Simmons on Grantland wrote ‘Daring to Ask the PED Question’. His is obviously focused on professional sports but I think the question is more and more important in individual and Olympic sports.

    Ultimately, you state that for an athlete to validate this decision, they must believe that other athletes are doing it. Perhaps, but I think that the decision is more personal than that. My belief is that athletes who chose to use PED’s weigh the risk of being caught against the gains that they get with increased performance. I believe that there is a correlation between the increases in prize money and media coverage and the use of PED’s in athletes. That may seem like common sense, but I truly believe that has the greatest impact on an individual.

    For the East Germans and the Chinese, there was systematic doping done by the countries for highly politicized reasons to show the dominance of their country when the world is watching sport. This seems to be the case with the Russians currently as well as evidenced by the recent documentary done on Russian sport organizations. The gains, financially and politically, far out weigh the risk when it comes to systematic use of PED’s for these countries.

    As you stated, Hosszu is the first swimmer ever to win a million dollars in prize money alone (not including her sponsorships that likely at least match that prize money in bonuses). Up to this point, I have never known an athlete to be forced to give back their Prize Money for a positive drug test. Medals perhaps, rarely the prize money. It is easy to see the incentive for someone to use PED’s in order to dominate the World Cup circuit because the financial incentive is huge, the risk of losing the financial gains is low (even if their image is tarnished for future earnings) and the swimmer would likely get MORE money doing that than winning a medal at the Olympics.

    Whether Hosszu is doing this clean or not, it is fair to ask this question because unfortunately we have now been trained to be cynical of the performances that we see. As an athlete, unless they’re caught you have to deal with performing against all athletes, but that doesn’t prevent the media or others who follow sport closely to be critical and investigate these performances deeper. Thanks again for the article.

    • avatar
      fluidg

      What is fair about viciously slandering a person in a respected worldwide publication without any evidence when that person has no way to defend themselves? We certainly have different ideas about what constitutes “fair”. Imagine if some “journalist” like Casey wrote the same thing about you. Really.

  38. avatar
    JD

    I would have liked to read, in an article like this, some facts, and also some facts on her training methodology. She must be training in a way that allows her to race all year. It’s being done by those who follow Dr. Rushall. In one of Rushall papers he says it is possible to improve race pace every 2 to 3 weeks.

    • avatar
      Eric Lahmy

      Mr Barrett please, let an old bloke tell you something: make your job, go to see Katinka and her husband, ask them what they do, how she trains, what she eats, how much she sleeps, how she concentrates, what is new and, say, holistic or revolutionary in her conception of swimming (because she has a conception of swimming), and so on, and if after that and after that only, you think that this does not make sense or does not smell good, write it. All the examples you cite are quite false. In 1973, I knew and everybody in the French elite and swimming team knew what the East Germans were doing, and I gave years ago the proof to Peter Daland, an article I wrote in September 1973 in L’Equipe about their system. But I know for you Americans, a knowledge that has not attained America is not a knowdelge!
      And in Europe nobody though that this cynic Armstrong was a pure athlete (and Greg Lemond told it very well). Armstrong had a lot of money to cover his doping. Not Hosszu.
      Take all her performances at the 2014 World Cup as I did in time. She did her best performances at the beginning of the Cup, when she was coming out of the World championships, when she was in top form. And slowly, her performances were going down. Less and less speed, at one or two exceptions.
      But more. All the best swimmers do not go in this World Cup meeting. You have good swimmers but no great swimmers. When Belmonte was here, Katinka Hosszu did not win easily! If, tomorrow, Melissa Franklin decides to follow all the stapes of the world Cup, I can tell you, Hosszu will not win the 200 backstroke or the 200 freestyle once, and, look at the NCAA, not the 200 medley many times. This is for this reason that I did not understand that Hosszu what the Female World swimmer for FINA, and Ledecky. Ledecky was enormously outstanding, fantastic,
      Hosszu was, for me, until you demonstrate the contrary, a fantastic pionnier. But, for my money, she is true and honest. I like her, I like her smile. I like her swimming, her enthusiasm, I appreciate her courage, the way she works, the way she acts with other swimmers, her decency. I don’t think she will deceive us.
      For the moment, I feel upset by attacks on her, as I was upset by attackes, on their time, on Inge de Bruijn and Dara Torres!
      But who knows? I only hope not to be deceived!

  39. avatar
    NP

    Sarcasm ALERT :

    I agree with you. It’s just too good. And Michael Phelps’s 8 gold medals is just too much. He must have been doping. Same with Mark Spitz.

    Ryan Lochte had only 30 minutes between his 200 Back and 200 IM in 2008 and 2012. In 2008 he went 1:53.94 to set a new WR in 200 Back, then went 1:56.53 in 200 IM to take the bronze. Then, in 2012 he went 1:53.94 to take bronze, then went 1:54.90 to take the silver. Well, that must be drug aided.

    Mary T. Meagher set world records when she was 14. That must mean she was doped!

    Janet Evans beat the Easter Germans. Everyone knows that they were doping, so she must have been too.

    Mireia Belmonte Garica broke the SCM 200 Fly and 400 IM world records on the same day (by the way, beating Hosszu in both). That must be drugs!

    Johnny Weismuller competed at a time before drug tests! He must have been doping! There’s no way to prove other wise!

    NOW, onto the logical part of my argument. “Correlation does not prove causation.” This is the most important statement to consider. There is a correlation between large builds (and/or big muscles) and steroids. This does not prove that either causes the other. “Steroids cause big muscles.” This is a true statement. The opposite statement, “Big muscles cause steroids.” is obviously absurd. However, rewording the first statement creates a much more plausible (though still dubious) declaration: “Big muscles are cause by steroids.” This can very well be the case. However, the vast majority of “big muscles” are not caused (or helped) by steroids.

    Although it is most certainly not libelous for Mr. Barrett to state his opinion (that is a freedom protected in the Constitution), it is certainly not in good taste. If he was truly suspicious of Mrs. Hosszu’s great accomplishments, then it is strange that he did not accuse any of the great swimmers who came before her of doping. Did he charge Michael Phelps with doping? Katie Ledecky? Missy Franklin? Dara Torres? Janet Evans?

    As for your prerequisite for doping: “[Athletes] must convince themselves that their competition is doing it.” It is absurd. This may be true of people who truly do not wish to do anything bad, and are trying to justify their actions to themselves. However, this is a general statement that tries to encompass everyone; this generality is simply not true. The East German government was under no impression that other athletes were doping. The East German swimmers doped because their totalitarian government forced them to. The same with the recent revelation about Russian systematic doping. Besides, for a cynic, you are awfully positive about the human moral system. Some people are just plain greedy, and would dope simply for the fame, money, and strength, regardless of whether their competition was doing the same.

    The point that Mr. Barrett makes in drawing attention to the fact that Hosszu has not won an Olympic medal is boarding on absurd. She has not won an Olympic medal because she was simply never good enough to win one at the time of the Olympics. Now that this has changed, he points it out as another example of her alleged doping. This is, at the very least, unreasonable.

    Perhaps these concerns that Mr. Barrett has about the “distinct smoky area surround Katinka Hosszu’s performances” are true. But there seems no reason to slander her name based on suspicions and guesswork.

    If she is taking steroids she shows only two of the normal side-effects: an excellent physique and incredible performances (and these are prerequisites of any great swimmer). Her voice is not unreasonably deep. She seems to have no excess growth of body hair. She seems genuinely happy, displaying none of the mood swings and depression that can be associated with anabolic steroids.

    To sum up, I believe that Mr. Barrett is entitled to his opinion. And I believe that the voice that says, “There is something suspicious here,” can be invaluable to the public good. However, I see nothing here more suspicious than, say, Phelps, Lochte, or Ledecky. I think it is unfair to Hosszu and to her husband that she be charged with such a serious offense without a shred of evidence. All of her feats could easily be attributed to the intense training she does. Suspicions are all good and well, but all the cases seem so similar; it seems to be suspect them all, or suspect none. Hosszu does not seem to stand out, in my mind, as a person worthy of being accused in such a fashion.

    • avatar
      Victor Passenheim

      DITTO, DITTO, DITTO!!!! @NP

      Of course, this may be a new route which SW wishes to pursue: innuendo, cynicism & yellow journalism.

  40. Wayne Goldsmith

    I’d like to share a story. In the 90s, many people had suspicions about some of the Chinese female sprint champions – particularly around their performances at the 1994 Rome World Championships. Whether the suspicions were justified, I will not judge or comment upon. However, at the time, I mentioned these views over a quiet beer with a close friend – a Chinese coach working in China with elite swimmers. I said, “How do you explain so many great performances coming from a group of female swimmers all from the same province in China?”. He replied, “how do you explain as an Australian that so many of your great distance swimmers all come from the same area in the same state in your country?”. I was shocked – appalled – horrified that he could think this. I leaped to the defence of my country and said it was because of great coaching, hard work, talented athletes, a culture of success, sports science, innovative programs etc etc. I told him I was 100% completely and totally confident our athletes and coaches were impeccable in all aspects of their preparation and performance. I felt like hitting the guy (but didn’t). How dare he suggest something like that. He said, “Well maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge us”. Performance enhancing drugs are a blight – a cancer on all sport. Their use should be condemned and all athletes educated from a young age that the use of performance enhancing drugs (or social drugs, the inappropriate use of prescription medications, alcohol binge drinking for that matter) should rejected at all times. However, let’s all be careful about making judgments based on rumor, innuendo and suspicion and just work harder on improving the out-of-competition, without notice, randomised testing programs and on educating coaches, athletes and administrators around the world about the issues.

  41. avatar
    Dunc1952

    I am not to the place yet where I conclude there is a fire behind the smoke Casey comments on. I hope and believe there may in fact be a legitimate path followed by Katinka to reach her current level. But there is certainly smoke.

    Journalism is meant to flesh out where smoke is seen to see if there is in fact a fire. Swimming World does not state a conclusion of “fire” in posting Casey’s commentary; they just allow one of the western world’s primary voices on things wrong in our sport, a place to set out what appears. Swimming World is a fine example of journalism in this area, following East German smoke for over a decade until Stasi records confirmed the fire and about the same period of time for the Chinese fire to be seen in the PEDs found in athlete luggage intercepted on the way to a World Championships about 10 years after the smoke most strongly billowed in ’94 Rome. Likewise for Irishwoman Michelle Smith until she was found to have falsified a test specimen. Swimming World is also working to uncover drug issues related to Kazan.

    The consistent scheme in each of these instances is the overwhelming set of comments, as here today, based on anti-American emotion. Commentators try to attack Casey by saying, “what about when Americans swim fast? What about Phelps and Ledecky?” As several commentators noted, Casey grew up in the American swimming system gaining insights as a Junior National champ for Murray Stephens in the Anita Nall/pre Michael NBAC era, for Bolles School in the Greg Troy era and as an All-American for USC in the Mark Schubert era, followed by his own Olympic Semifinalist experience in Atlanta … for Canada. Since then he’s written for Bob Costas on NBC’s Olympic Coverage,for both swimming and even the Winter Olympics, with Emmys and Peabody awards coming in tow, developed both a swim club and a large learn to swim academy in New York. He’s earned his stripes to comment on issues in swimming.

    But if you go back through the net to see his published thoughts, you see thoughts of someone who has clearly been exposed to the strengths and weakness of the sport and is an equal opportunity critic where he sees smoke. Considering his columns on subjects such as pedophiles in USA Swimming, Phelps’ travails, difficulties in the NBAC supergroup in summer 2014, interviews over SW on “issues plaguing swimming,” contrary to the comments you might read above, Barrett is not exactly seen as unjustifiably pro-American on swimming issues.

    Now that I’ve defended both Swimming World and Barrett for setting out the subject, let me give a few reasons why I’m thinking it may just be smoke, with a flavorful career coming forth.

    1. She made her biggest advance, not in these recent months but, as with many foreigners who have grown in the american college system, she made huge advances in her college years at USC.
    2. With her different training approach, we swimming lifers can’t sense her pattern of midseason/end of season performances. She may be a victim of simply thinking creatively outside the box, where her great in season work is essentially part of her training, so she shouldn’t have a big drop at the end as others following the more traditional path. She may simply have to get way out front with her midseason performances to achieve the biggest prizes at the end.
    3. By all accounts I’ve seen she is remarkably disciplined with nutrition and dry land and techniques to dissipate exercise residue in her system, aiding between effort recovery.
    3. She has long been a fine flyer and an adequate breaststroker for her IM, but she has made substantial improvement in her backstroke technique and freestyle as well. She’s gone from adequate backstroker to world SC champion.
    4. She’s improved her underwaters.
    5 She’s willing psychologically to go out and lay it on the line. She will likely hold on for the big wins sometime.

    • avatar
      Eric Lahmy

      Okay, this is the beginning of the beginning of a thinking. But how can you defend the article of Casey and writing that? That is the condamnation of the article of Casey. He DID NOT DO THE WORK<

    • avatar
      NP

      May I preface my reply by saying that I have great respect for you as a commentator. I believe your notes bring great insight into these conversations.

      First of all, I tend to agree with you about where Mr. Barrett and Swimming World are coming from. I see that there is “smoke on the water”, but not yet “fire in the sky” (if you’ll excuse the Deep Purple reference).

      The only thing I see differently is that this “smoke on the water” is caused by her rapid rise to the top. But this smoke can be seen in many other swimmers’ rises. Phelps, Ledecky, Egerszegi all rose rapidly. Perhaps, though, these are different because they rose to international prominence at a young age. Perhaps it is Hosszu’s age at the time of her rise that sends up the warning flags.

      I would like your opinion.

      Thank you.

  42. avatar
    Flush Dope

    the only question mark is when she will fail

  43. avatar
    Agnes

    Facts:
    Katinka Hosszú has an American trainer.
    She has been doing much of her training in the US in the last couple of years.
    Just sayin…

    Shame on you writing a long story all stuffed with opinions, not a single fact!

    By the way, would you have written such an article about Phelps? Why not????

  44. avatar
    István Németh

    slander boldly, something always sticks, this is my first thought, the second is also a quote from the famous Harry Calahan: Well, opinions are like @ssholes. Everybody has one.
    the third is a short story, I am rather into climbing not the swimming but athletes are athletes no matter what the sport is. So Lynn Hill (on of the best in 90s) was asked why she was not in the company of big names in climbing scene in that time she told that if someone is a good climber that means nothing but she/he is somebody who climbs good, nothing else. So I dont know who actually is Casey and what he did in swimming, but even he won gold in Olymic games that only means he can swimm fast. It does not means he is smart, good or a honest person. Athletes are only humans, not gods. Chasing the glory in sports is the feature of totalitarism not the free world.

  45. avatar
    Dave

    Shame on you Casey Barrett to publish such a bullsh*t article like this…. Ridiculous opinions, no facts….

  46. avatar
    tamas910103@hotmail.hu

    savanyú a szőlő ????:D

  47. avatar
    Rita

    It is troll commentary published as an opinion article.
    I cannot believe this can be posted on SW.
    The problem with this “opinion” is that it does not hit doping in general – despite claiming media responsibility on raising alarm -, it hits one person and one person only, whithout a shred of evidence.
    If you want to raise awareness – and for the author achievement itself is pretty much enough for that – you should name every medallist in this article, not only one.
    One such article about Phelps and all media would go berzerk. I go further. Replace “Hosszu” with “Phelps” – and this “opinion” would have never tested the vetting process.

  48. avatar
    Zoltan Szabó

    ROTFL, that’s a typical stupid american response to any athlete from any NON US country, who is better than them.
    Btw, what about Phelps, or what about any other american athletes who won Olympics, WC?
    Pity the fool….

  49. avatar
    hidroponi

    from wikipedia:

    “Casey Barrett (born February 16, 1975) is a former butterfly swimmer, who competed for Canada at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. There he advanced to the B Final of the 200-metre butterfly event, and finished 11th .”

    ROTFL…

    he’s an “expert” :DD

  50. avatar
    Griffith

    “Sometimes the best similes are the crude ones.”
    If you think that simile is good or worth sharing then maybe in the future you should read more and write less.

  51. avatar
    Csaba

    Honestly this article just simply jealous.
    The introduction is misleading, interpretation is like a loose ball.
    I would highlight what she does differently and why she has been outperforming others, instead of misleading readers.
    Csaba

  52. avatar
    Gabriel

    How do you dare to public this article? Shame on you SWM, i hope many people will unsubscibe after this sheet.

  53. avatar
    Smudging World Magazine

    This is nothing but mental warfare.

    US swimmers knows they can’t keep the pace with Hosszu, therefore they decided to try bringing her down mentally and “hopefully” this might affect her performance negatively.

    In order to achieve this, they hired a wannabe pen-pusher with poor swimming results to write a little article about their opponent. The guy should not be born american because in case of failure (lawsuits etc.) the american swimmers could come out white-handed of this disgusting affair.

    So, our friend scribbles his “point of view” and shady accusations while he is generously forget about mentioning other swimmers with “sudden developments” (Phelps for example).

    Anyway, this guy did his job he paid for: started a tiny fire around Hosszu.
    (Btw. nowadays about 2/3rd of Hosszu’s pee lands in various test tubes instead of toilet bowl. Also she is giving more blood than this little pot-boiler can see in an average B category action movie.)

    Ok, where are my proof of the above, you may ask?
    My evidences currently are where this guy’s ones about Hosszu’s dopping.

    Okay, I must go to vomit.

    Be good and think smart, guys! 🙂

  54. avatar
    Andy

    This sounds like a bitter 4th class ex-swimmer’s half baked and envious smartassing, trying too hard to get some attention by spattering a successful athlete.
    Shame on you Casey.

  55. avatar
    KP

    Disgusting opinion from a nobody of swimming. Shame on you Casey Barrett!

  56. avatar
    Arpi

    Jealous, and unprofessional writeing. Lets say an essay rather than an article. And not against the doping; it is against a person, what is a same on the site and same on the person who had commited it. Just to know: the us team were on a ship in Athens 2004 and wasn’t allowed for WADA to step on the territory during the games, any other case the team threthened to leave the games. You just need to take a look some us swimmers feet, palm, chin to smell that smoke too. And notice that the most succesfull swimmers are missing from the Wrold Cup races at the last 2 years. Declare quiting sport carrier, and comeing back, ect.. Oppsite Katinka who is constantly raceing and giveing test samples any time.

  57. avatar
    Smudging World Magazine

    “The Hungarian Swimming Association has read with the utmost dismay the outrageous commentary published in your online platform, defaming Katinka Hosszu, one of the most appreciated members by the world’s swimming community (seems not by the Swimming World), without any evidence proving the points of the author.

    As it is well-known for all credible members of the international press, Katinka Hosszu has been obliged to take part in a handful of doping tests (just as all other top athletes), carried out by WADA and local agencies in recent years, both in- and out-of-competition. She has passed them all.

    With regards this fact, we cannot understand why such a prestigious media platform finds it necessary to give floor for these humiliating accusations (speculations). This is absolutely not in line with the approach we have experienced in the past from Swimming World which ensured international recognition for your website and magazine.

    As the President of the Hungarian Swimming Association, I hereby declare that we would never question any achievement by any great swimmers, let alone from the United States, even if many of them often seem to be superhuman – still, all admired by us, forever.

    Tamas Gyarfas

    President of the Hungarian Swimming Association”

  58. avatar
    Smudging World Magazine

    If majority of readers think the same, then it becomes a fact. Even without a proof.
    At least this is how these “opinion” articles are working… 😉

  59. avatar
    from Hungary

    Did you wrote an article when Micheal Phelps won 8 gold olympic medals???!! Oh of course there is nothing suspicious about it. I have to laugh, what a joke you are :DDD

  60. avatar
    Istvan Csaszar

    Congrats Mr. Barrett! Did you ask the exact same questions in case Phelps when he won 8 Olympic Gold Medals on the same Olympic Games? Or You only said we have Giants who were able to do anything!
    Story is simple…if you have proof of doping case pls share it…if you have nothing in your hand be silent.
    It seems Rio is close enough to gain some fame for you and disturb the opponents with these petty rumors!

  61. avatar
    Decoydawg

    Replace Phelps in the title and suddenly it all makes sense.

  62. avatar
    Milton French

    Ohh, Casey you poor idiot. Is it hurts that you’ve never been able to reach this far? Jealous idiot.

  63. avatar
    Olga

    I am so much looking forward to an ‘opinion piece’ on how US swimmers dope – of course an article without any proof! That is how it is fair!
    Well done SW, you really reached now the level of the worst tabloids. I suppose you suffer from serious issues of not having enough readers? That is the only reason I could imagine someone would publish sg like this.
    And congrats to your own swimmer Phelps. He had such an outstanding performance – oh wait, that cannot be! No one can be outstanding without doping! … what a logic.

  64. avatar
    Emeric

    If Katinka use dopings, what use Phelps ??? doping+ ?

  65. avatar
    Greg

    casey barrett shame on you! You are a piece of ….. That is my opinion.

  66. avatar
    Gyula Raj

    Hungary is a country with konzervativ values and traditions. People respect honest work. The president of the hungarian parliament Laszlo Koever said once about leftliberal journalists: They are media terroristen. He would say this compliment also to Casey Barrett. Barrett has no values, just enviousness. Hajra Katinka!

    • avatar
      T GY

      What language is that, you idiot? This is not the place for your twisted political views.

  67. avatar
    Mark

    It is hard to believe that such bullying and accusation can stand against a well respected swimmer. Is the writer anti-Hungarian or anti-woman? I hope that Hosszu lawyers up and this wanna-be-writer whose disgusting piece was published in swimming world magazine will pay a hefty price for baseless accusations. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that one can freely accuse others. Shame on the writer and shame on this magazine I will surely not read any longer.

  68. avatar
    Jukka Attilai

    Swimming World has lost its credentials for me!!!!!!!

  69. avatar
    Fluidg

    …the visual “evidence” – on the body and the scoreboard – generally doesn’t lie.
    No, people like Casey Barrett lie. The smear and defame with their fantasies. Casey can imagine it, so he assumes his story is true and that broadcasting innuendo is the right thing to do. What a POS this guy is. He demonstrates it over and over. I’m appalled that he is given a platform to spew his poison. It’s personal and destructive and it’s wrong.
    Come on SW! You’re better than this.

  70. avatar
    Jozsef Kerekes

    fyi, I disliked this page after this article.

    • avatar
      TheCalling

      Whatever! You disliked this page but commented 3-4 times… You’ll be back tomorrow to read the next article and post comments as usual. “FYI-” I’ve heard crow is especially good bbq’d.

  71. avatar
    Danjohnrob

    Mr Barrett and SWM: If, “Everybody is talking about it…”, why have only a handful of people taken the time to write comments in support of this viewpoint in an anonymous forum? To say the least, reaction to this piece has been overwhelmingly negative! I would go so far as to say publishing it proved that the majority of people (or at least those who care enough about swimming to read this website) do NOT believe Ms Hosszu is using PED, completely disproving its premise.

  72. avatar
    fluidg

    SW, why is this article still up?

  73. avatar
    Keve

    Ohh, Casey you poor idiot. Is it hurts that you’ve never been able to reach this far? You kind of results you achieved? Yeah but you could not achieve any glaring? Perhaps you have been doping it! Haha you have learned to swim faster! Reputation unlucky hunter idiot! Or loser !!!

  74. avatar
    massimiliano

    following what this article says, we can say that also ledecky is doped. and much more than hosszu. 1500, 800, 400 and 200 as the best all around all the year. and with a very bad technique, swimming up and down all the way for a 1500 m !! we’ve never see something like that with that time, at this level. but nobody says ledecky is doped.
    so why can’t you say hosszu is doped? no proof, only defamation.
    hosszu is an amazing athlete, with a wonderful technique’s skills, much more than the greatest part of american top swimmers.
    well done katinka !

  75. avatar
    Fowler

    Casey Barrett, an alcoholic drug addict.
    True, there is no proof.

    • avatar
      Journalist

      Pedophile.
      Definitely.
      Must be true.
      There’s never any proof, right? Who needs it when it’s obvious.

  76. avatar
    Gabor

    ” it’s all just jealous hearsay.” As You said. Casey Barett is doping her name and this blog…
    Hajrá Katinka!

  77. avatar
    Mate

    Finally someone has said it out loud. It so obvious. I strongly agree.

  78. avatar
    Tamás Kis

    This article is called “opinion article”. Can I publish an opinion article in SW suspecting that the Editor-in-Chief abuse young swimmers? This is of course just a speculative opinion not supported by facts.

  79. avatar
    JK

    Exactement, si Hosszu Katinka était une américaine, il n’y aurait aucun problème. Mais que pensent tous ces amerlocs, il n ‘y a que dans leur pays (noyé dans la drogue, entre autre) que naissent des champions? Et surtout, que cette accusation débile vient de la bouche d’un “nageur” de dizième rang, un pataugeur qui n’a jamais été champion???!!! Et c’est un mec comme cela qui ouvre une école de natation? Pauvres gamins, ils vont se noyer. Et donner un argument aussi con (oui CON !!!!, comme celui qui le dit) que “il n’y a pas de preuve, mais il faut regarder la forme de la nageuse et ses persormances…”.
    Mais il faut etre completement débile de dire cela. Évidemment que les muscles se développent quand on nage 16 km par jour. Évidemment que le résultat suit sur le tableau. Mais vraiment, il faudrait créer un Guantanamo aux US pour les cons aussi.

  80. avatar
    Kate Reese

    Casey Barrett co-founded Imagine Swimming, a learn-to-swim school for rich kids in New York City.

    Do you want someone who uses ‘tits in a strip club’ metaphors, to teach your little girl how to swim?

    The funny thing is, I have more proof about Barrett using sexist metaphors, than Barrett does about Hosszu doping. And yet, I’ll probably be the one whose comment is deleted or moderated.

  81. avatar
    Ron Arambalo

    Wow, terrible tone from top to bottom. Then you go on to bash her for not yet winning a single olympic medal.
    Do you even lift, bro?

  82. avatar
    Adam Nemeth

    One vote for firing Mr. Barrett

  83. avatar
    Pop Károly

    Shame of you Mr Casey Barrett !!!!!You are on very good route te become an liar men.So please proceed on this road.It’s very good for you!!But what we expect from an American?ONLY something like this!!!!!

    • avatar
      Nadia Comăneci

      Béla? Did you get into the pálinka?? Are you drunk again??? Mártaaaaa, Pop’s drunk again!

  84. avatar
    Ryan Seacrest

    “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.” – Mark Twain

    “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Harry S. Truman

    From the looks of the above comments, it seems there are some people that are willfully ignorant of the situation at hand, and wish nothing more than to bury everything and pretend it isn’t happening. Shouting down one of the few people actually asking questions is counterproductive. If people don’t like the idea that one of their favorite swimmers is likely a PED user, then they should “get out of the kitchen,” not force others to stop cooking for answers.

    Here’s a bit of info about AAS(anabolic androgen steroids), aka testosterone and other hormones and their derivatives, that is relevant to this conversation:

    “Steroids are for guys who want to cheat opponents.” – LT #56

    AAS black markets and manufacturing are centered in SE Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central America. This is one major reason why the countries that surround these areas have problems with illicit AAS use, and why those countries are also the ones that are commonly caught using AAS and other PEDs to cheat at athletics.

    “Be like a face of two sided coin, be ready for both happiness and the sadness…’ – Aziz Shavershian aka XYZZ

    SE Asia – especially Thailand – is famous as a tourist destination to buy any and all the AAS and other PED’s you could dream of. “Famous” steroid users and advocates, like Aziz aka XYZZ, have died pumped full of an ungodly amount of hormones during AAS honeymoon’s in Thailand…We’re gonna be okay. Cry. The Aussies got hooked and the amount of AAS that travels from Thailand to Australia is staggering. It is an epidemic down under. It wasn’t too long ago a well-known ex-Aussie swimmer was caught manufacturing steroids using a horse-pill press. Classy.

    I’d give a run down of the other two areas I mentioned, but here, see for yourself…the list of official FINA suspensions since London(note some dirty tests were overlooked and have been swept under the rug inexplicably, and experts that I have read suggest that roughly 3-5% of PED users fail tests across all sports – I would assume our rate is somewhere around there? But that is me just making sh*t up):

    31 suspensions –

    Diving
    • Colombia diver cocaine
    • US diver amphetamine

    Water polo
    • Serbia water polo cocaine
    • Belgium water polo cocaine
    • Slovakia water polo meth

    Swimming
    • SE/East Asia:
    o Korea swimmer clen
    o Korea Swim test
    o China swimmer tri
    o Australia swimmer methylhex
    o Australia swimmer methylhex + others
    o India swimmer methylhex
    • Eastern Europe/Central Asia:
    o Russia swimmer epo
    o Russia swimmer ostarine
    o Russia swimmer ostarine
    o Russia swimmer DHEA
    o Russia swimmer dtest turanibol
    o Russia swimmer methylhex
    o Russia swimmer methylhex
    o Russia swimmer methylhex
    o Turkey swimmer metenolone
    o Turkey swimmer oxilofrine
    o Bulgaria swimmer stanozolol
    o Bulgaria swimmer stanozolol
    o Ukraine swimmer dtest
    o Romania swimmer dtest
    o Iran swimmer letrozole
    o Kahzakstan swimmer test
    • South/Central America:
    o Brazil swimmer masking agent
    o Brazil swimmer methyltest
    o Venezuela swimmer methylhex
    o South Africa swimmer andro

    “They see me rolling. They hating, patrolling, and trying to catch me ridin’ dirty.” – Chamillionaire

    The above list is a very small sample size, from our humble aquatic sports only, and you can already see that there are a few countries and regions that clearly do all of the doping. Should Russia even be allowed to compete for the next decade in swimming? Pretty clearly not. Anything that any Russian swimmer achieves for the foreseeable future, or has achieved in the recent past, is suspect, and rightfully so. And the really messed up thing about all of this is that…
    A) more and more research is showing that several of these hormones could be extremely beneficial to athletes and laymen alike, and prescriptions for hormones that are on the banned list have skyrocketed in the last few years. While the public’s use, both legal and illegal, is growing, we are not changing our rules or even looking into the possibility of un-banning safe and beneficial substances aka we are inviting more cheats as time progresses. This is like our troubles with prohibition of drugs in the US. If test is found to be more beneficial than not, as cannabis has been, we will only begin to see more and more users both in and out of sport. Should we revisit why cannabis is banned, and even perhaps why some hormones are banned at low levels? None of this even touches the subject of structuring cycles to keep hormone levels artificially high but just under banned limits…this was Quick’s modus operandi with his women at Stanford in the 90s.
    B) research has also shown that many of the benefits of cycling AAS are retained for very long periods of time, possibly for life. A 1 month cycle, once per year(a common strategy for weekend warriors who want a boost without negative side-effects of long-term use) has been shown to be dramatically more effective over the long-term than previously thought, and many believe the effects leave permanent benefits to the user in terms of, at least, lean muscle mass and strength capacities. The Jamaican track athletes went untested for up to 9 month periods leading up to London ‘12 while training in Jamaica. Clearly, all of them, including Bolt(especially Bolt!) were dirtier than Chamillionaire’s whip. And the few who haven’t yet been caught – because there’s only a few left – can stop using now, or any time well before competition, and retain the benefits of their past cheating ways for what looks like a long time. And this problem is nothing compared to…
    C) as long ago as 2001, there were reports of fast acting Test products being sold to professional athletes through aging-clinics and supplement labs and being available, albeit very scarcely, on the black market. This isn’t AAS that your normal bodybuilder wants…it is designed specifically for daily(nightly) use, where you can pass a drug test by lunch the next day. These and many others are what allow a vast majority of NFL and MLBers, not to mention college football players, where AAS use is rampant, to pass all the drug tests they want, without a worry. Does anybody remember Barry Bonds? The cream? The “clear”? The “Vitamin B12” shots? He has yet to fail a drug test.

    “Once and for all, I did not use steroids or any other illegal substance.” – Mark McGwire

    “I wish I had never gotten involved with steroids. It was wrong. It was stupid.” – Mark McGwire

    Anyways, I guess my point is that there are specific countries(Russia, China, Brazil), as well as regions(SE Asia, E Europe, S/C America), that are naturally suspect for cheating because they have all the AAS and get caught a lot. Buuuuut, I believe the rate of cheating by using PEDs is roughly stable across most populations that compete at the elite levels. The countries where steroids aren’t available on every corner just have a tighter system. Anti-aging clinics, scientist/nutrition laboratories, etc that are designed not only to administer the PED but to help it stay undetected. Those countries where the drug is available readily on the street, where commercial doctors aren’t available to hold an athlete’s hand through the testing process, just get caught more. And, of course, then there are the state-sponsored, systematic cheaters like Russia, China, East Germany, who will never fully be trusted again. The Pete Rose’s of swimming. Speaking of which, the totally not narcissistic Rose’s thoughts on the subject: “I think if someone connected to steroids made the HOF, that would increase my chances of making the HOF.” Thanks, Pete.

    Those that say that the influx of money to the sport in the last decade have influenced things are dead on, imo. I recall a docu, but not the title, where a bunch of Dominican baseball players were being questioned about their rampant culture of PED abuse. To paraphrase their replies, across the board: “We use it to get to MLB and get a major contract. At that point, if we get caught, it’s no big deal. 100 games off, and we are stars that still command big contracts. Whereas without the PEDs we not only don’t get the big money, we may have never even gotten there in the first place.” So the benefits massively outweigh the risks. Same in swimming right now. If you are anything but a top 10 world swimmer, you aren’t making enough to buy bread ends from the local baker – you wait in the alley with the stray cats for the moldy scraps that get thrown out each night, like me. So you weigh your options, and decide that cheating is worth it, because if you can pull in $100k next year by drugging yourself to the gills, and the only risk is suspension, versus plodding along at $10k per year until “retirement,” of course you are going to cheat. Even worse is that same athlete, but with money at their disposal. Because you can basically eliminate the risk of getting caught by fronting the $20,000 overhead that this scam takes to an anti-aging clinic or laboratory like BALCO where you will get drugs good enough that you will likely never fail a test. It’s a bad situation.

    My response to Barrett’s article is that I totally get that as a journalist he is in an impossible situation: either he tries to call out those whom he thinks are doping, or he gets lambasted in the future for being part of the media that ignored PED usage for years. Look at the baseball writers from the 80s-00s – the few that spoke out about steroids were attacked(and some survived, like Simmons), yet the public and the “future media” look back and drag the entire group of writers through the mud for not speaking up. Who was in the wrong then? The journalists that didn’t speak up and the public who was outraged at such accusations. Same now.

    But maybe offering up a bunch of evidence(perhaps cited a bit better than I did ☺) and allowing people to draw their own conclusions on this issue would better get the point across than actually coming out and naming a name without evidence. That being said, yeah, there is a chance she is doping. A better chance than most others that we still consider clean. She is from Eastern Europe, swam at USC, maintains privacy and 1-on-1 coaching. These have all been tell-tale signs in the past when suspicions have arisen. If you ask me about any of the top 20 swimmers in the world in any event, I’d guess about half of them – maybe a bit less, on average – are doped or have doped. There are some that I highly doubt are using or have used….but I’m not naïve enough to pretend that there isn’t a chance, even a pretty good chance, that they are indeed cheating. I know of a few who have gotten away with it, that I am absolutely sure used. I has a sad about that.

    “Welcome to American Idol.” –me

    I do agree with the general sentiment that Americans aren’t getting enough scrutiny. Although they have a better record in this sport than most countries, and have by far the best developmental structure for younger and college-aged athletes, they also have the means to cheat beyond most other countries, access as good or better than most countries, and a rampant culture of AAS use in many other sports as well as fitness, bodybuilding, and among entertainers from actors to professional wrestlers to former rap icons from Compton who now own a multi-billion dollar headphone companies, or company, as it were. It’s everywhere. The former Governors of California and Minnesota are both admitted users. Obama has probably at least been accused of using by a healthy portion of the U.S. population that has managed to avoid mental institutions since their Savior Reagan freed them from their bonds. Perhaps I digress? Back on topic: we need to keep an eye on those Americans too, especially that Paula. She cray.

    “I’m not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.” – Jon Stewart

    Barrett is as likely as not to come out on top with this opinion of his when all is said and done. The real problem is the hordes of protestors that come on here and shout down the opinion like it has no basis in reality and isn’t at all likely to be true, screaming for censorship and boycotts and splashing veiled threats against the author in the comments. When their hero gets outed as a cheat, where do they go? Where are Sun Yang’s and Tae-Hwan Park’s fans that defended them to the death over the past years? They actively helped those guys cheat by shouting down any criticism. Actively. They were a major part of the problem, as are those attacking Barrett. Rabid censorship towards fascist ends defending every cheater out there, when we know, we absolutely know beyond any doubt, that there is a healthy percentage of athletes in our sport cheating. We should all be speculating about this, because this year, more cheaters will prosper, a small percentage will get caught, and more of their defenders will come out and be “Shocked! Shocked!!!” by such a predictable outcome.

    Good day to you all.

    Seacrest out.

    • avatar
      Simon

      I believe you meant “… to former rap icons from Compton who now own a multi-billion dollar headphone company, or owned, as it were.” You insufferable little tw*t. Are we still on for the the thing at the place? I’m starting to look like Chewbacca down there, so I hope so. Aww man Randy is giving me one of his impromptu massages right now. So creepy. Ciao.

      Simon

    • avatar
      Smudging World Magazine

      “That being said, yeah, there is a chance she is doping. A better chance than most others that we still consider clean. She is from Eastern Europe,”

      Wow… Now I do understand how americans thinking!

      “He wears a turban… He is terrorist!”

      (My simile is false, because Hosszu is not even wearing a turban, yet she called “terrorist” by some fine “opinions”…)

      It seems I have to think on stop protesting against this kind of pithy wisdoms like “The USA is a big melting pot of idiots and morons from all over the World.”
      I used to protest against these, since it cannot be that everyone in a country is idiot. There must be evidences in order to accept this as a fact.
      But after all… who needs evidences? An “opinion” is just enough…
      Idiots.

  85. avatar
    Adamo

    Swimming Program 2008 Olympics – (only finals)

    200m freestyle – Aug.12 – Winner – M. Phelps (WR)
    100m butterfly – Aug. 16 – Winner – M. Phelps (OR)
    200m butterfly – Aug. 13 – Winner – M. Phelps (WR)
    200m medley – Aug. 15 – Winner – M. Phelps (WR)
    400m medley – Aug. 10 – Winner – M. Phelps (WR)
    4x100m freestyle – Aug. 11 – Winner – M. Phelps (WR)
    4x200m freestyle – Aug. 13 – Winner – M. Phelps (WR)
    4x100m medley – Aug. 17 – Winner – M. Phelps (WR)

    FACTS!
    Follow the logic of the author!

    Good Night

    P.s.:
    The trainer of Katinka is American; her husband btw. Maybe they got access to the same NASA Lab as the American guys…

  86. avatar
    superfan

    I am in the swimming world in America and MANY people in the sport day in and day out do think Katinka is doing something illegal and as Casey says, are afraid to say it. Many of these same swimmers and coaches who have been ‘thinking’ this have also had similar thoughts about American swimmers, cyclists, baseball players, etc too!
    People wrote articles about Lance and Marion insinuating drug use and denial was from all over the world until they admitted it. Unfortunately, it seems the dopers (or whatever) are one step ahead of the drug labs.
    Great article Casey…..

  87. avatar
    Victor Passenheim

    More than 85% disapproval rating. That’s not to say an article shouldn’t be published because people don’t like what is being said. In this case, however, the article shouldn’t have been published because it offered a poor analysis, zero evidence, was poorly sourced, was tawdry, and I felt it express a type of casual contempt toward to the individual being scrutinized, Katinka Hosszu.

Author: Casey Barrett

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