Road To The Olympic Games

Rio Olympic 2016

7 Russian swimmers banned from Rio Olympics

Swimming governing body FINA has ruled seven Russian swimmers ineligible to compete at the Olympics, including three it says were linked to recent allegations of a major doping coverup by Russian authorities.

Number of suspended athletes growing according to Russian Olympic chief

Russia's Yulia Efimova is one of seven Russian swimmers banned from the upcoming Games in Rio. (Michael Sohn/The Associated Press)

Seven Russian swimmers have been barred from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, including three linked to recent allegations of a major doping cover-up by Russian authorities, world swimming's governing body FINA said Monday.

Reigning world 100-meter breaststroke champion Yulia Efimova is among four Russian swimmers withdrawn by the Russian swimming federation because they previously served doping bans, FINA said. The others are Natalya Lovtsova, Anastasia Krapivina and Mikhail Dovgalyuk.

The International Olympic Committee on Sunday said Russian athletes with previous doping bans would be banned from the Rio Games. That followed the IOC's decision not to ban the entire Russian team over allegations of state-sponsored doping.

FINA said three more swimmers were identified by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren when he examined evidence that Russian government officials ordered the cover-up of hundreds of doping tests.

They are 2008 Olympic silver and 2012 bronze medalist Nikita Lobintsev, bronze medalist Vladimir Morozov and world junior record holder Daria Ustinova.

FINA said it will retest doping samples from all Russians who competed at last year's world aquatics championships in Russia. Russia finished third in the medal table at the 2015 event. The championships also included diving, water polo and synchronized swimming.

Russia's top Olympic official, Alexander Zhukov, told Russian agency R-Sport that he now believed a total of 13 Russians would be ineligible due to previous doping bans. They would be withdrawn from the team, he added.

The 13 are likely to include athletes in swimming, cycling, weightlifting, wrestling and rowing.

COC calls for strict vigilance

Zhukov spoke a day after the International Olympic Committee executive board decided against imposing a complete ban on Russian athletes from the Rio Games over allegations of state-sponsored doping. The IOC asked individual global sports federations to decide on entry of Russian athletes, and announced new eligibility criteria.

The rules prohibit Russia from sending to the Rio Games any athletes who have previously served doping bans. Sports federations can also reject Russian entries if they have not undergone enough international drug testing. Results of Russian tests will not be accepted following allegations of routine cover-ups at Moscow's anti-doping laboratory.

"The onus now remains with the IOC to ensure that the international federations fully execute their authority and the process that has been identified," the Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement released Monday. "A diligent and exhaustive process to assess all athletes and participants is critical to clean competition."

Decisions rest with sports federations

Now, with the Aug. 5 opening ceremony approaching, it is up to the remaining 27 international sports federations to vet Russian athletes on an individual basis.

Russia's track and field athletes remain barred from the games by the IAAF, a decision upheld last week by CAS and accepted by the IOC.

In a press release, FINA said "there is no indication in the [WADA] report that athletes of Russian Synchronized Swimming Federation, Russian Diving Federation and Russian Water Polo would be implicated." FINA clarified it's inclusion of water polo in the statement, saying "the single case mentioned in the IP report in respect of water polo was a case effectively reported and the male athlete was sanctioned. Russia's men's water polo team is not qualified for Rio."

The following sports have discussed Russia's Olympic eligibility:

  • The archery federation said Monday it had approved the entry of three Russian archers after determining they have no links to doping.

  • The International Tennis Federation said Sunday it expects Russia's eight-player Olympic tennis team to be eligible for the games. The ITF said the players "have been subject to a rigorous anti-doping testing program outside Russia."

  • The International Equestrian federation said there was no indication of doping within Russia's five-rider team.

  • Russian cyclist IlnurZakarin, who won a stage during the Tour de France which ended Sunday, could be ruled out because he served a two-year ban after testing positive for a steroid in 2009.

  • The International Judo Federation, whose honorary president is Russia's president Vladimir Putin, said it has already tested 84 percent of the 389 athletes from 136 countries who are qualified to compete in Rio. It made no mention of the 11 Russian judo athletes entered.

  • The international gymnastics federation, FIG, said it "has taken note" of the IOC ruling and "shall fully adhere to it." It said it would establish a "pool of Russian eligible athletes." Gymnastics was not mentioned in the McLaren report.

  • Boxing's governing body, AIBA, said it was examining Russia's entrants. Russia has qualified 11 boxers for Rio, including reigning world champions Vitaly Dunaytsev and Evgeny Tishchenko.


By The Associated Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.