Duncan Scott intends to “check the controllers” at the Tokyo Olympics and has not dreamed of repeating the anti-doping protest he made at the World Championships two years ago.
Team GB swimmer Scott made the headlines in Gwangju when, after winning bronze in the 200-meter freestyle, he refused to share the podium with gold medalist Sun Yang.
Sun, who had already served a three-month doping ban in 2014, was at the time the subject of a case of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a broken vial during a doping control. Last month, the CAS reduced an eight-year ban to four years retroactive to May 2020, meaning it could potentially compete in the Paris Olympics in 2024.
After the podium snob, Sun reacted angrily to Scott and appeared to shout “you’re a loser, I’m a winner” at this rival.
Scott insists his actions back then were not personal and just a message to promote clean sport, while his goal for the coming month is only to affect his own performance.
“I do not really know [if the situation has improved], obviously we had COVID so there were no competitions in 2020, “said Scott, who won two gold and three silver at the rescheduled European Championships in May, during a round table of journalists.
“I would say since then I can only really control controllers. I know it’s so cliché, but especially with COVID and with the dates moving around, it made me think even less about things that I don’t. can not influence.
“I can’t affect it, so why should I care? It’s not something I thought about to be honest.
“I think then doing it and taking that position was for the purpose of clean sport, it was nothing personal against anyone. And I think it was seen in the right way, many people have made their voices heard for these reasons.
“I think [fellow Team GB swimmer Adam] Peaty talks about it a lot and as a teammate in different competitions I have to support what he says and the way he delivers it, I think that’s great. “
Several athletes have expressed concerns about reducing drug testing at the height of the coronavirus pandemic – which has caused the Games to be postponed – last year, but Scott added: “I can’t control it. , it’s not something I think about.
“If I give my best I’ll be there or around. I had some great falls in practice and for me I really have to focus on myself.
“Swimming isn’t like a lot of team sports, you can’t influence what someone is doing in the lane next to you, you just have to focus on your own race.”
Last month Scott traded in the swim cap for a graduation cap after earning a 2: 1 in business and athletic studies at Stirling University.
Scott, who is dyslexic, said he may revisit his studies later, but is focusing on his goals in the pool for now.
“Personally, I found it really difficult, because I wasn’t really a student at all, I found it really difficult, so being able to get a degree on its own and be offered a place was great, and I thought I might as well while I’m swimming, “he added.
“I think halfway through my sophomore year I felt like I had to try to work something out with college, I find that really hard to deal with. And college was great, I think. did my first two years full time, then split third and fourth.
“I would have actually finished in 2020 but I decided to go out from January to June, I was like the Olympics [are happening] I’ll take this off – never happened!
“I really enjoyed it, I found it very difficult, which I think was potentially a very good thing. Being dyslexic and not too school-loving and being stuck in a classroom, I am really proud of the fact that I was able to get a 2: 1.
“Maybe this is something I go back to and potentially do a Masters but I can’t see it for a while. I would love to do the next cycle and just focus on swimming – there are a lot of competitions there. ‘next year, with all the governing bodies not really talking to each other, you have Europeans, commies [Commonwealth Games] and the Worlds next year, I was just happy to finish it to be honest. “
Scott, who won two relay silver medals at Rio 2016, says he takes inspiration from some of Scotland’s top competitors, such as cycling legend Chris Hoy and great tennis player Andy Murray as he aims to earn more accolades in Tokyo.
“I don’t really know them, I say I still admire a lot of them, I wouldn’t put myself in the same category at all,” he said.
“Personally I liked it a lot – not that I didn’t do it anymore, that sounds bad – but Chris Hoy for example, and the way Murray behaves on and off the tennis court, I think it’s phenomenal .
“I find it inspiring the way he still plays and people ask why he keeps competing and he says he just loves hard work, it’s pretty refreshing to hear.”