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Russia’s Medal Hopes Could Suffer with Efimova, Morozov and 5 Others Banned From Rio

Picture Courtesy: Gian Mattia Dalberto/Lapresse

Through David Rieder

When the World Olympic Committee announced Sunday that it will not issue a blanket ban on Russian athletes at the Olympic Video Games despite allegations of state-backed doping, it came with a caveat: about midway through the record was once merchandise No. Three, which read that any athlete who had previously been sanctioned for use of efficiency-enhancing drugs could be barred from Rio.

Instantly, Yulia Efimova used to be out. Efimova’s standing for the Games had been uncertain all spring after she examined sure for meldonium—just brought to the banned listing on January 1. She was officially cleared to compete in Rio July 12, But that invitation has been revoked as Efimova does have a earlier failed check on her Document.

Efimova was once suspended for Sixteen months in the fall of 2013 after checking out sure for 7-Keto-DHEA, However she back in time for remaining summer season’s World Championships. In Kazan, she took down Ruta Meilutyte to win the arena title in the 100 breast. In 2016, she holds the 2nd-quickest time on the earth in each the 100 (1:05.70) and 200 breast (2:21.Forty One), and so she appeared like a undoubtedly possibility for one or more medals in Rio.

Swimming World’s legit Olympic predictions come out later this week. Efimova used to be in the beginning on that checklist But now not. Whereas the 200 figures to be a tightly-packed ultimate with eight girls having already been beneath 2:23 this 12 months, simplest three ladies had broken 1:06 this 12 months in the One Hundred. Efimova has additionally received a medal in the One Hundred breast at each and every of the previous 4 World Championships.

We expected one Different medal for Russia in swimming—Vladimir Morozov within the men’s 100 free—However FINA announced this morning that Morozov is out as neatly. In total, FINA declared seven Russian swimmers ineligible to swim in Rio—4 who had tested sure previously (including Efimova) and three others who had been listed in the world Anti-Doping Agency’s Impartial Person (McLaren) file released closing week.

Morozov, who has no Report of a suspension, was once among that later class, and he will leave out Rio. Morozov helped Russia to a bronze in the 400 free relay in London and also won a silver in the 50 free on the 2013 World Championships. He used to be one of the vital favorites for gold in the One Hundred free final summer season in Kazan sooner than a false begin within the semifinals took him out of the event altogether.

Morozov at the moment ranks ninth on this planet in the One Hundred free with a 48.09, and a bronze medal did not appear to be that much of a stretch. But with Morozov out, our present predictions have Russia getting shut off the rostrum completely.

Among The 5 others banned, handiest Daria Ustinova gave the look of a serious contender for an individual medal. She ranks fifth on this planet in the 200 back at 2:06.Ninety Two and holds the Junior World Document in that event, However like Morozov, she was once additionally named in the McLaren report.

So, too, was Nikita Lobintsev, a finalist in the 400 free in Beijing and within the A Hundred free in London—and likewise a two-time Olympic medal winner on relays. But The now-27-12 months-previous was once prone to be little greater than relay depth this time round.

Now, Russia’s medal hopes leisure on the shoulders of 19-yr-outdated Evgeny Rylov, who in April set a european Record within the 200 again with a 1:54.21 and final summer gained a bronze medal within the experience in Kazan. Anton Chupkov has an outdoor shot in the males’s 200 breast, But that’s actually about all on the person level.

Russia did win silver within the 400 free relay at the Worlds closing yr, But that was once with Morozov splitting Forty Six.95 and Lobintsev additionally contributing a snappy leg. (The Russians can also’t depend on both the American Citizens and Australians bomb out in prelims once more this yr.) The 800 free relay was once fourth in Kazan, However By Way Of advantage of a positive doping take a look at on his résumé, third leg swimmer Mikhail Dovgalyuk can also be out of the Olympics.

The critics of the IOC’s choice to allow Russian athletes to compete in Rio are many, and they are loud. The Issue of doping—and the Russian scandal specifically—figures to return up time and again all through the Video Games, However maybe not on the pool. The Choices that the IOC and FINA have made these remaining two days may just knock Russia absolutely off the podium.

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