Three rowers have been axed from Russia's team for Rio 2016 after failing to meet the strict criteria for eligibility installed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Rowing Federation (FISA) announced today following a meeting of their Executive Committee.
Ivan Balandin, who was due to compete in the men’s eight, has been banned after he was implicated in Richard McLaren’s damning report, released last Monday (July 18), which uncovered the presence of a state-sponsored doping scheme at several major events spanning over 30 sports.
His sample was found to have been swapped as part of the “disappearing positive methodology”, where positives were switched for clean ones.
The IOC ruled that anyone named in the McLaren Report would not be able to participate at Rio 2016.
Anastasia Karabelshchikova, who was set to take part in the women’s eight, and men’s four rower Ivan Podshivalov have been excluded as both have previously served drugs bans, a controversial eligibility guideline for Russian athletes set out by the IOC.
Russian Rowing Federation President Veniamin But has told R-Sport that Karabelshchikova and Podshivalov would both contest the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
It is not yet known whether the banning of the trio puts the places at the Games of their respective crews in jeopardy.
Further answers could come tomorrow after the FISA holds a second meeting of its ruling Executive Committee, the first of which was staged by teleconference today as a result of the IOC Executive Board's decision not to impose a wholesale ban on Russia at next month's Olympics.
The IOC instead chose to hand the responsibility over the extent of the participation of Russian athletes at the Games to the International Federations (IFs).
– but the sailors praise the new boats