The teenager abandoned his normal diplomatic approach to say he believed the sport was not drug-free and never would be while FINA was in charge.
“A lot of things that FINA do disappoint me and one of those is the lack of tests they carry out,” Thorpe stated after breaking his own world record to win the 800 metres freestyle title at the world championships.
“From an outsider’s point of view, it doesn’t look good. There is no deterrent.”
Asked whether swimming was clean, Thorpe replied: “It’s not at the moment and I don’t know if it ever will be.”
Earlier on, one of swimming’s top doping experts questioned the reliability of tests used to detect erythropoietin (EPO), one of the most dangerous banned drugs in sport.
FINA has come under fire for deciding not to test for EPO at the world championships in Japan when other major sports federations, including the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), have announced they will.
But the chairman of FINA’s Doping Control Review Board, Andrew Pipe felt the tests were still unreliable and doubted whether they would stand up in a court of law.
“Any test that is applied has to survive a legal challenge,” Pipe said. “And the technology currently being used is still in its infancy.”