Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger has spoken of her frustration regarding the current doping issues shrouding sport and has said she personally does not know any athletes who would not back calls for a "more effective way" of attempting to tackle the problem.
Dame Katherine, who has five Olympic rowing medals to her name, including double sculls gold at London 2012, was speaking to insidethegames here at Dover House in London on the back of giving a lecture on "The power of progress: inclusion, justice and opportunity".
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) claimed in a 12-point reform declaration made earlier this month that anti-doping should be separated from sporting interests but also "equally independent from national interests".
However, anti-doping organisations believe the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) should be responsible for sanctioning individuals who fail tests as well as organisations non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.
They criticised the IOC for adopting what they implied was a hypocritical stance considering their decision not to hand Russia a blanket suspension from the Rio 2016 Olympics following the McLaren Report evidence, merely rubber-stamping eligibility decisions made by individual International Federations instead.
This led to world governing body of Dame Katherine’s sport, the International Rowing Federation (FISA), to undertake a review of tests of rowers from Russia since 2011 to establish their eligibility for the Games.
The outcome was that only six of the 26 Russian rowers that had qualified were declared eligible to compete in Rio de Janeiro.
Speaking about the doping problems in sport, Dame Katherine told insidethegames: "It’s frustrating for me as I think I’ve seen the best side of sport and continue to see it as a real inspiration and a real force for good in so many different ways - it’s hard.
"The lead up to Rio was obviously dominated with the Russian experience.
“I think the good thing for me if you look back at the Rio Olympics, the whole build-up was dominated by if the Russian team would be there or not, if the IOC was going to issue a blanket ban, if individual sports were going to do it, who would be in who would be out.
"And that was such a sort of focus leading up to it and to be honest, when the Games happened, the focus came back to those performances and those moments and that’s exactly how it should be.
"As an athlete, you’re so protective of the magic that sport can give that you always want that to be the headlines, but you also want it to be as clean as possible, as transparent as possible, as pure as possible and you want those results, performances and moments that you see to be fair, to be just and to be a genuine reflection of people’s abilities.
"I don’t know any athletes personally who wouldn’t be backing a situation to get sport cleaner, to get a more just way of doing things, a more fair way of doing things, a more effective way of doing things.
"Where those answers lie is beyond me right now."
Dame Katherine won her fifth Olympic medal at Rio 2016, taking silver in the double sculls alongside Victoria Thornley, four years after partnering Anna Watkins to gold at London 2012.
Questions have been raised about the legacy of last year’s Games in the Brazilian city with pictures of empty and dilapidated venues in the Olympic Park and other areas beamed around the world earlier this year.
But the 41-year-old, who was officially made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to sport and charity earlier this month, insists she will remember her last Olympic Games very fondly.
"I think Brazil had a hard time in the seven years from when it was chosen as the host country, and Rio the host city, to when it actually delivered the Games," Dame Katherine said.
"So much happened in that country in those seven years.
"They had so many more challenges, politically and financially, than anyone would have expected.
"It was the first time it (the Games) was held in South America; it was so important that it was seen as a big success and the lovely thing was, from an athlete point of view, it really was a huge success."
In November of last year, Dame Katherine was re-elected as a member of the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) Athletes’ Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle.
She is expecting a much smoother build-up to the Games in Japan’s capital than there was to those in Rio.
"I think there will be less (problems) because I think already Tokyo, at the same time in the four-year cycle as in the lead-up to Rio, is already far more advanced," she added.
"I think they will have everything covered.
"I think they’re very, very far ahead in their planning, as you’d expect from Tokyo.
"But I’ve been to five Olympics and I’ve never known one of them not to have some doubts, fears or challenges leading up to it so there will inevitably be something as we get closer.
"But from a distance, from what you see, they’re incredibly advanced in their planning and will make it happen as smoothly and slickly as possible."
Dame Katherine’s three other Olympic medals were all silvers, finishing runner-up in the quadruple sculls at Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 and in the coxless pair at Athens 2004.