PHOENIX, Arizona, July 6. FINA officially announced today that it is appealing the Brazilian decision to issue warnings to the four swimmers who tested positive for the diuretic furosemide. We should stress that while the decision will ultimately affect all four of the swimmers – Cesar Cielo, Henrique Barbosa, Nicholas Santos and Vinicius Waked – Cielo has the most to potentially lose at this time. If the Court of Arbitration for Sport gives a stricter punishment to all four swimmers, it could mean a ban from the sport that goes all the way through the world championships. Cielo is the only one of the four on Brazil's roster for the world championship team, since he qualified before the Maria Lenk Trophy meet, where the positive drug tests were done.
Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham has announced that he is withdrawing from the world championships due to a strained abdominal muscle. Mitcham was set to challenge for the gold medal in the 10-meter platform, and possibly other diving events as well, but told Australian media he didn't want to aggravate the injury any more, and thus keep himself in the game for next year, when he hopes to defend his Olympic title in the individual platform event. Mitcham will be out of training for the next six weeks for rehab, which he said is better than being out for three months if he had gone to worlds and torn the ab muscle again.
Yesterday we taped an interview with Elliott Keefer for an upcoming edition of the Morning Swim Show. In that interview, Keefer said he had been bumped up to the world championship team from the World University Games team because Scott Spann had officially retired. Spann hadn't been competing much since last summer, where he finished second at nationals to earn his place on the world team. Keefer will now swim the 200 breast at worlds with teammate Eric Shanteau. And you can see Elliott Keefer's full interview this Friday on the Morning Swim Show.
More changes to the USA world team roster were made yesterday. Dana Vollmer has opted out of the 200 freestyle and will instead swim just the 100 free, 50 fly and 100 fly, in addition to the relays. Morgan Scroggy will take her place in the 200 free. Vollmer was the bronze medalist in the 200 free at the 2009 worlds. Also, USA Swimming named the athletes who will swim the 50s of butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke at worlds. USA Swimming does not pick swimmers for the world team in the 50s of the strokes at selection meets, and gives the option to swim them to anyone on the team.