Rio 2016: Russian Rowers Caught in Doping Row, Banned 

A number of Russia’s athletes and weightlifters have already been banned from competing in the Olympics

2 min read
(Photo: AP)

The Russian men’s quadruple sculls team has been disqualified from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics for a doping violation, and will be replaced at the games by New Zealand, International Rowing Federation (FISA) announced on Thursday.

FISA said that trimetazidine, a banned substance, was found in a urine sample given by rower Sergei Fedorovtsev in an out-of-competition test on 17 May.

Just last month, the Athletics and Weightlifting teams of Russia was banned due to doping charges. (Photo: AP)
Just last month, the Athletics and Weightlifting teams of Russia was banned due to doping charges. (Photo: AP)

He competed a week later at the final Olympic qualifying regatta in Switzerland, where Russia finished first to qualify for Rio.

As Fedorovtsev, who won a gold medal in quadruple sculls at the 2004 Athens Olympics, tested positive, the federation said:

The results of all competitions in which the rower participated after 17 May 2016 are therefore automatically disqualified.

New Zealand, which finished third behind Russia and Canada in the qualifying event, will replace the Russian crew in Rio. Canada also qualified by finishing second, joining the top eight crews who secured their Olympic places at the 2015 world championships, held in France.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

Not Just Rowing

The disqualification of the rowers is just the latest doping scandal involving Russia ahead of Rio.

Russia’s track and field athletes have already been banned from representing their country for a systematic doping system that operated “from the top down” and tainted the entire team.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), upheld a ban on Russia’s track and field federation, but left open a “tiny crack” that will allow any individual Russian athletes who test negative for doping after subjection to effective testing outside Russia to apply to compete in the games.

Russia, along with Kazakhstan and Belarus, also faces a possible one-year suspension from international weightlifting competition, following the retesting of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said the final decisions on whether the countries will be allowed to compete at Rio will be made after the International Olympic Committee makes a definitive ruling on the retests.

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