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FINA gives 2016 Rio green light for Russian swimmers Lobintsev, Morozov

August 02, 13:22 UTC+3
The final decision is yet to be made by the recently formed Panel of the International Olympic Committee
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 Russian swimmers Nikita Lobintsev and Vladimir Morozov

Russian swimmers Nikita Lobintsev and Vladimir Morozov

© AP Photo/Michael Sohn

MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. The International Swimming Federation has given the go-ahead to Russian swimmers Nikita Lobintsev and Vladimir Morozov to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, which kick off on Friday in Brazil, Artyom Patsev, a Russian sports attorney told TASS on Tuesday.

"Yes, Morozov and Lobintsev were granted permission from FINA to take part in the Olympics," Patsev said in an interview with TASS.

Swimming’s global governing body announced last month it was likely to ban the two Russian swimmers from taking part in the upcoming Olympics since they had been mentioned in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission report on the alleged widespread doping abuse and manipulation at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi.

However, having studied all of the details stated in the Commission’s report, FINA decided to clear Lobintsev and Morozov for Rio 2016. FINA’s decision does not mean that the two swimmers will go to Brazil.

The final decision is yet to be made by the recently formed Panel of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which lists three members only and they are: Ugur Erdener, the head of the IOC Medical Commission; Claudia Bokel, an IOC Executive Board Member and the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission; and Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, an IOC Executive Board Member.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne will also have its say on the admission of the Russian swimmers to the global quadrennial summer sport event in Latin America. That is because the court is currently reviewing a pending lawsuit from the Russian Swimming Federation against a potential ban on Lobintsev and Morozov from the 2016 Summer Games.

The Independent Commission, WADA, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released the now-infamous July 18 report on the results of a probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

According to the details, the commission claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service had covered up a doping program in Russian sports.

The report from WADA’s Commission stated in particular that the commission’s investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.

As a result, WADA suggested that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations ban Russian athletes from all international sports competitions, including Rio 2016.

After a conference call by its Executive Board on July 24, the IOC urged international federations for winter sports events to suspend preparations for major competitions in Russia. The motion is scheduled to be in effect until December 31, 2016 and may be reviewed at a December session of the IOC Executive Board.

IOC President Thomas Bach, however, announced on July 24 that Russian athletes, with the exception of track and field competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association.

He made the statement after a teleconference by the IOC Executive Board, which, however, ruled than no Russian athlete, who had been previously sanctioned for doping would be allowed to take part in the Rio Olympics, even if their previous restrictions had expired as well as any athlete mentioned in the McLaren report.

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