Olympics: Fina say no decision on Russian swimmers Morozov, Lobintsev

 Russia's Nikita Lobintsev in a 2013 file photo.
Russia's Nikita Lobintsev in a 2013 file photo.PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Swimming federation Fina said Tuesday (Aug 2) that Russian swimmers Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev have yet to be cleared to compete in the Olympics, contrary to reports out of Russia saying they were set for Rio.

Fina issued a statement saying that both swimmers were implicated in the independent report that found evidence of a state-backed system of covering up doping in Russia.

They were among seven Russian swimmers excluded from the Rio Games, which start on Friday, and took their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Fina said that CAS had forwarded its recommendations to the three-person International Olympic Committee commission to review Russian entrants, and their status would not be confirmed until that IOC panel rules.

"Both athletes were named in the WADA IP Report," Fina said.

"The two athletes filed an appeal to CAS and Fina understands that this Court has forwarded the case to the IOC three-person commission for final decision."

But speaking to Interfax news agency in Russia, Lobintsev's agent, Andrei Mitkov said that both would be allowed to compete.

"We will meet with IOC representatives to discuss the outcome for this situation," he said.

Morozov, 24, and Lobintsev, 27, have called on CAS to declare "invalid and unenforceable" an IOC order for federations to exclude athletes implicated in the investigation into Russia's state-run doping system.

Fina said it was committed to a clean competition in Rio, saying it had conducted 2,177 unannounced out-of-competition tests on Rio-bound swimmers from January through July of this year and spent some US$1.8 million (S$2.4 million) on drug testing.

With concerns raised in the wake of revelations that drug test samples were tampered with during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fina said it had re-tested samples that Russian Rio hopefuls had given at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, last year.

"These samples, retested at the Barcelona laboratory, where they have been stored, returned no adverse findings," Fina said.