More banned from Rio as Rus­sian dop­ing toll exceeds 100

The Myanmar Times - - Olympics -

NINE­TEEN more Rus­sian row­ers were banned from the Olympics on July 26, tak­ing the toll of the na­tion’s ath­letes sus­pended from Rio to 108 after ex­plo­sive rev­e­la­tions of state-run dop­ing across Rus­sian sport.

As the list of sus­pended Rus­sians grew, the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) con­tin­ued to face fierce crit­i­cism for de­fer­ring from ban­ning Rus­sia out­right.

Ger­many’s Olympic dis­cus cham­pion Robert Hart­ing launched a sav­age ver­bal at­tack on IOC pres­i­dent Thomas Bach, call­ing his com­pa­triot “part of the dop­ing sys­tem, not the anti-dop­ing sys­tem”.

Bach fired back that the de­ci­sion to leave in­di­vid­ual sports fed­er­a­tions to de­cide which Rus­sians could com­pete “re­spects the right of ev­ery clean ath­lete around the world”, not­ing that would-be Rus­sian Olympians must clear “the high­est hur­dles” to be green­lighted for the Games, which start on Au­gust 5.

Five ca­noeists and two mod­ern pen­tath­letes were barred, with the num­ber of Rus­sians banned since Sun­day stand­ing at 41.

They are in ad­di­tion to 67 track and field ath­letes al­ready banned by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF).

While there was good news for Rus­sian ath­letes com­pet­ing in judo, eques­trian, ten­nis and shoot­ing, World Row­ing (FISA) came down hard, ban­ning 22 of Rus­sia’s 28 row­ers.

FISA said that those banned were “not at all con­sid­ered to have par­tic­i­pated in dop­ing” but were be­ing ex­cluded as they “do not meet the con­di­tions es­tab­lished by the IOC”.

“This is a hu­mil­i­a­tion,” Rus­sian row­ing fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Ve­ni­amin But told the R-Sport agency. “I am in shock, but we won’t stop the bat­tle. Our Olympic Com­mit­tee is hold­ing dis­cus­sions with the IOC on our be­half.”

With just six row­ers Rus­sia can only com­pete with one boat in Brazil, a men’s cox­less four, after qual­i­fy­ing five boats.

Pavel Sozykin was the com­peti­tor banned by World Sail­ing, with the other six Rus­sian sailors al­lowed to com­pete, and a re­place­ment for Sozykin will be al­lowed.

The In­ter­na­tional Ca­noe Fed­er­a­tion (ICF) said it had taken “swift ac­tion” to re­move five ca­noe sprint pad­dlers from Rio after the re­lease of ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion nam­ing those im­pli­cated in the McLaren re­port.

The re­port by Cana­dian law pro­fes­sor Richard McLaren for the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) de­tailed an elab­o­rate dop­ing sys­tem in Rus­sia di­rected by the sports min­istry that af­fected more than 30 sports.

The banned five in­cluded Alexey Korovashkov, a five-time world cham­pion who won a bronze medal in Lon­don four years ago, and Alexan­der Dy­achenko, who took gold in a dou­bles kayak sprint.

“This is a bit­ter blow for the Olympic move­ment and we are sad­dened that our sport is im­pli­cated. We have taken swift ac­tion and re­moved all of­fend­ing ath­letes where dop­ing ev­i­dence ex­ists,” said ICF sec­re­tary gen­eral Si­mon Toul­son.

Mod­ern pen­tathlon’s gov­ern­ing body said Mak­sim Kus­tov and Ilia Frolov had been im­pli­cated in the McLaren re­port and were be­ing booted from Rio.

The re­port linked both to the so-called “Dis­ap­pear­ing Pos­i­tive Method­ol­ogy”, mean­ing their pos­i­tive drug tests at a Moscow lab­o­ra­tory in 2014 were never re­ported.

Time was run­ning out for fed­er­a­tions to scru­ti­nize Rus­sian com­peti­tors, some of whom are al­ready in Brazil.

In ad­di­tion to the ban on Rus­sia’s en­tire track and field team over dop­ing, seven swim­mers, two weightlifters and a vol­ley­baller have also been barred.

Yuliya Stepanova, the Rus­sian 800m run­ner who lifted the lid on sys­tem­atic dop­ing and cor­rup­tion in Rus­sian ath­let­ics, is mak­ing one last­gasp ap­peal of her ban from the Rio Olympics.

Her in­clu­sion is ac­tu­ally backed by the IAAF and many anti-dop­ing of­fi­cials, who have praised her whistle­blow­ing ef­forts, but was nixed by an IOC ethics com­mis­sion.

Four-time world breast­stroke cham­pion Yu­lia Efi­mova also an­nounced plans on Mon­day to also ap­peal her ban at the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS).

Matthieu Reeb, CAS sec­re­tary gen­eral, told AFP in an email it had yet to re­ceive the ap­peal.

Rus­sian sports min­is­ter Vi­taly Mutko – a key fig­ure in the McLaren re­port who has been banned from Rio – has voiced con­fi­dence that the “ma­jor­ity” of the coun­try’s 387-mem­ber team would be de­clared el­i­gi­ble for Rio.

In some rare good news for Rus­sia, the In­ter­na­tional Shoot­ing Sport Fed­er­a­tion said that all 18 com­peti­tors nom­i­nated by Rus­sia had been cleared be­cause they had no pos­i­tive drug tests on their record and were not men­tioned in the McLaren re­port.

Most Rus­sian com­peti­tors will fly out to­day, but it re­mains to be seen how many will ac­tu­ally take part in the Games be­cause sev­eral fed­er­a­tions have yet to weigh in. –

Photo: AFP

Rus­sian Ilia Frolov re­acts after win­ning the gold medal in the mod­ern pen­tathlon world cham­pi­onships in Bu­dapest on June 1, 2008. Nine­teen more ath­letes, in­clud­ing the three-time world cham­pion, be­came the lat­est vic­tims of a back­lash against Rus­sian gov­ern­ment-sup­ported dop­ing scheme yes­ter­day.

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