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Canadian swimmer Ryan Cochrane laughs as he chats with USA swimmer Missy Franklin in the pool while training at the 2016 Summer Olympics on August 4, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Frank Gunn/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canadian swimmer Ryan Cochrane had barely dried off from his first foray into the pool in Rio and he was already talking about regrets.

Not about his own race – a disappointing 11th place finish in the men's 400m freestyle heats, which will keep him out of the finals. That wasn't his strongest event anyway – that comes six days from now in the 1,500-metre freestyle.

Instead, the two-time Olympic medalist took a moment to lament the International Olympic Committee's handling of a major doping scandal that plagued the run-up to the Rio Olympics. Most of the Russian team was banned from competing before several athletes were reinstated at the last minute.

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In Cochrane's view, that clampdown was mishandled and didn't quite go far enough. And that feeling could be what eats at other athletes for a long time after the lights go out in Rio.

Rio Olympics Day 1: What to watch and the latest news

"I think we've seen some sanctions against the Russians that maybe we should see against other athletes. And for an athlete that's clean it's really frustrating to me to see that," Cochrane said.

"Once the Games are done, that's something I think we'll all look back on and hope was handled better, throughout the quadrennial, not just right before the Olympics."

Cochrane didn't elaborate on which other athletes deserved to be sanctioned, but indicated that the clampdown should have been harder.

"I wish it was even across the board," he said.

His comments seemed to echo the sentiments of other swimmers. As Cochrane spoke to reporters following his race, an Australian swimmer standing nearby also took jab at corralling "dopers" in the sport, suggesting more needed to be done.

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Cochrane made no excuses for his own race, though. His time of 3:45.83 was four-tenths of a second behind the top-eight, which wasn't enough to advance.

"It's out of your control," Cochrane said of the doping issue, pointing out that, first and foremost, he needed to perform better. "I need to swim four-tenths faster."

The 400-metre freestyle isn't Cochrane's primary event. He won bronze in the 1,500-metre freestyle in Beijing in 2008, and silver in that event in London in 2012. Cochrane said there were positives to take from his race in the 400m freestyle as he readies for his main focus.

"In this event, if I had run that time last year, I would have been second in the finals at World Championships. So to be… 11th or whatever it was, that's a lot of people who are kind of pushing the envelope."

"It's frustrating but I know that I'm fortunate to have two chances at [these] Olympics. Not a lot of people get to have a second chance. And I think I'm an old enough athlete to know where to see what I need to work on and I have six days to do that."

Last month, an independent investigation found the Russians ran a systemic doping program during the Sochi Winter Olympics that involved tainted urine samples being swapped out for clean ones in a scheme that involved several of the country's top medal winners. The scandal was brought to light by a whistle-blower within the Russian program.

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The discovery nearly led to the entire Russian team being banned from the Rio Olympics, but athletes who didn't have previous doping issues were ultimately allowed to compete, and Russia arrived in Rio with a decidedly smaller contingent.

Two Russian swimmers competed in the men's 400-metre freestyle on Saturday, but were not a factor. Aleksandr Krashynkh finished 15th in the heats, while Viacheslav Andrusenko finished 30th.

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