Katie Ledecky believes the Olympic anti-doping system needs to improve. GETTY IMAGES

Olympic champion Katie Ledecky states that confidence in the anti-doping system has hit an "all-time low" due to the recent handling of a case involving Chinese swimmers by global regulators.

The seven-time Olympic gold medalist, who recently won the Presidential Medal of Freedom award, aims to add more titles to her collection this summer in Paris. In an upcoming interview with CBS News Sunday Morning, Ledecky voiced her concern that she and many others might not be competing on a level playing field at what could be her fourth Olympics in France.

“It’s hard going into Paris knowing that we’re going to be racing some of these athletes,” said Ledecky. "I think our faith in some of the systems is at an all-time low.”

Ledecky won a silver medal in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay in Tokyo three years ago, a race China won. Last month, reports from the New York Times and German broadcaster ARD revealed that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug before those Olympics, yet some were still allowed to compete.

Chinese authorities did not penalize the athletes, concluding that the drug entered the swimmers’ systems through contamination. The World Anti-Doping Agency accepted this explanation, stating that it had little chance of winning an appeal if it pursued the case.

Katie Ledecky believes the Olympic anti-doping system is at an all-time low. GETTY IMAGES
Katie Ledecky believes the Olympic anti-doping system is at an all-time low. GETTY IMAGES

Ledecky, who holds the women's record with six individual Olympic gold medals, remarked that "it doesn't seem like everything was followed to a 'T'" in the handling of the case.

“I’d like to see some accountability here,” she added. “I’d like to see some answers as to why this happened the way it did. And I’d really like to see that steps are taken for the future so that we can regain some confidence in the global system.”

WADA hired a Swiss lawyer to review the handling of the case, but critics argue that the investigation is too narrow and lacks true independence. Ledecky joined a growing number of athletes calling for greater transparency regarding the case, which is expected to overshadow swimming events in Paris.

“I think the whole case has to be reexamined independently and thoroughly, and all the information needs to be out there," Ledecky concluded.