Wednesday 15 August 2018

World Rowing bans 22 Russians

The Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: AP Photo/Leo Correa
The Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: AP Photo/Leo Correa

Matt Slater

World Rowing has taken the hardest stance with Russia since athletics ahead of the Rio Olympics, banning 22 of the nation's 28 rowers from competing.

With a blanket ban on all track and field athletes in the wake of the country's recently-uncovered state-run doping programme, individual sports have been making decisions on participation after they were given the freedom to do so by the International Olympic Committee.

Russia were given a boost when the governing bodies for judo, shooting and sailing waved some athletes through, but the banning of 22 rowers - effectively four boats - is damning.

World Rowing (FISA) said that those banned were "not at all considered to have participated in doping" but were not being allowed in as they "do not meet the conditions established by the IOC in their decision of July 24, 2016 for participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games".

Read more: Rowing and swimming become the first sports to ban Russian athletes from Rio Games

Effectively, the rowers have been blocked because they have not been tested enough times out of Russia. As such, only Aleksandr Chaukin, Georgy Efremenko, Artem Kosov, Nikita Morgachev, Vladislav Ryabcev and Anton Zarutskiy will be permitted to take to the water, with the lightweight men's four, lightweight women's double sculls and men's and women's eights withdrawn.

The places will be given to Greece (men's four), Italy (women's sculls) and Australia and Italy (women's and men's eight).

World Rowing's statement continued: "Russia has the possibility to form a men's four with the eligible six rowers for competition in Rio 2016."

Irish Independent

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