Rio ban for seven Russian swimmers

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By BBC

Seven Russian swimmers and three rowers have been banned from competing at the Rio Olympic Games by their sports’ governing bodies.

Swimming’s Fina and rowing’s Fisa took action after the International Olympic Committee let sports federations decide if athletes should miss the Games.

That was in response to a report on state-sponsored doping in Russia.

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Anti-doping groups had called for a blanket ban on Russian athletes for next month’s Rio Games.

Last week’s McLaren Report – commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency – said figures in Russia’s ministry of sport and its secret service were complicit in covering up doping across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.

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Sunday’s emergency meeting of the IOC opted to let governing bodies for Olympic sports decide if they should ban athletes from Rio – though it did say any Russian athlete previously sanctioned for doping should not go to Brazil.

That led Fina to take action against seven swimmers, and it will re-test all the samples collected from Russian competitors at last year’s World Championships in Kazan.

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London 2012 bronze medallist Yulia Efimova, Mikhail Dovgalyuk, Natalia Lovtcova and Anastasia Krapivina – all of whom have previously been sanctioned for banned substances – were withdrawn by the Russian Olympic Committee.

Efimova’s ban comes just a week after she she had a provisional ban for another doping offence lifted by Fina.

Nikita Lobintsev, Vladimir Morozov and 17-year-old Daria Ustinova appeared in the McLaren report.

Fisa, meanwhile, said Ivan Balandin from the Russian men’s eight was no longer eligible to take part at Rio as he had been implicated in the same report.

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It added two other athletes – Anastasia Karabelshchikova and Ivan Podshivalov – would also now not go to Rio as they had served doping bans in the past.

Both governing bodies said they would continue to analyse data and evidence and look into individuals’ anti-doping records.

“This may result in further declarations of ineligibility,” Fisa said in a statement.

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