The Week That Was: WADA Reinstates Russian Anti-Doping Agency Amid Criticism

The biggest news of the week was WADA’s controversial reinstatement of Russia’s anti-doping agency after a three year ban, which was met with harsh criticism from some of the sport’s biggest names. Check out the other biggest stories of the week, including a big engagement announcement, below in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Hugo Gonzalez Will Not Swim For Virginia Tech

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Reigning SEC Freshman of the Year Hugo Gonzalez will not swim at Virginia Tech after transferring from Auburn in the spring. Gonzalez is not listed on the official roster of Virginia Tech for the 2018-19 season, and Virginia Tech head coach Sergio Lopez gave Swimming World a statement confirming he will not compete for the Hokies this season. He also revealed that Gonzalez has chosen to return home to continue training and decide next steps. Gonzalez had a stellar freshman year at Auburn and announced he was transferring once Lopez left Auburn for the Virginia Tech position. Gonzalez would have been the second-fastest 400 IMer in the NCAA this season.

The Week That Was #4 – Amaury Leveaux Coming Out Of Retirement With Eyes On Tokyo

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Photo Courtesy: Jmex

French Olympic medalist Amaury Leveaux announced he will be coming out of retirement at the age of 32 with hopes of challenging for the 50 free gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Leveaux retired back in 2013 at the age of 28, one year after shocking the world with a gold medal performance as part of the 4×100 freestyle relay at the 2012 Olympic Games. Leaveaux has three other Olympic medals, all silvers from the 2008 and 2012 Games. He is also the current world record holder in the short course 100 meter freestyle (44.94) from the 2008 European Championships.

The Week That Was #3 – Olympian Junya Koga Handed Four Year Ban For Doping

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Olympian Junya Koga of Japan, who was a Rio Olympian and the 2009 World Champion in the 100 backstroke, is facing a four-year ban by a FINA doping panel. Koga failed two drug tests in March and was kicked off of the Japanese national team. Koga claims that his positive tests were from dietary supplements at a hearing late last month, and also sought a reduction in his sanction at that hearing. His request was denied. If Koga’s ban is upheld, he will miss out on a chance competing at an Olympic Games in his home country. Koga still has the opportunity to present his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have the ban reduced or overturned.

The Week That Was #2 – Missy Franklin Announces Engagement To Thayes Johnson

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Photo Courtesy: Matthew Bish, Oak and Willow Weddings via Instagram

Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Missy Franklin announced her engagement to boyfriend Hayes Johnson over the weekend on her social media accounts. Franklin is the current world record holder in the 200 back from the 2012 London Olympics, where she won five gold medals. She competed for Cal-Berkeley before going pro ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she had a disappointing meet before going public with her battle with depression and undergoing double shoulder surgery. She has recently returned to competition after moving to train with the pro group at the University of Georgia back in January. Johnson himself is a former swimmer, having competed for the University of Texas and at Olympic Trials in 2008 and in 2012.

The Week That Was #1 – WADA Reinstates Russian Anti-Doping Agency Amid Criticism

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) reinstated the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) this week after a 3-year suspension that started in 2015. In order to remain compliant, the RUSADA must meet strict conditions placed by WADA, which you can see detailed here. Reaction from athletes around the globe to the reinstatement of the RUSADA were decidedly negative, with notable athletes like Katie Ledecky, Adam Peaty, and Lilly King expressing their displeasure with WADA’s decision over social media. Michael Phelps also weighed in on WADA’s decision, stating “I’ve complained about it, I’ve testified about it. And still nothing changes. So I guess that then leads us here and where do we go next? What else can be done?” Swimming World will continue to update with the latest on the status of the RUSADA as information becomes available.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. Brad Meschke

    Burying your head in sand. How sad!!!

Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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