FINA Responds to New Russian Doping Allegations

Photo Courtesy: Wanwa

Russia has been at the center of doping concerns and speculation after a May New York Times article revealed a scandal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. After accusations of widespread corruption, the nation’s track and field athletes have been banned since November, and are currently fighting to be allowed to compete in Rio.

Now, there are new doping allegations surrounding Russia’s swimmers. Britain’s The Times and Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine have recently claimed, “two men at the centre of Russian doping revelations in athletics were said to have offered to exempt the country’s swimmers from drug-testing in return for an annual fee,” according to The Straits Times. 

These men reportedly asked the Russian Swimming Federation for three million rubles a year, in exchange for not requiring the top swimmers to provide samples. The two parties reportedly met twice in the lead up to the London Games.

In response to these allegations, FINA released a statement this morning:

“These are very serious allegations and we urge anyone with relevant evidence to bring it forward to FINA so that we can share with all appropriate authorities and take immediate disciplinary action if required.

FINA is monitoring all developments in the world’s fight against cheating and doping in sport and is taking decisive action to protect the majority of our athletes who are clean.

In partnership with national anti-doping agencies, FINA continues to test the 10 best-performing athletes in each event in swimming and this programme will continue until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. After the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, this robust anti-doping programme will continue in the run-up to the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) to take place in Windsor (CAN) in December 2016.

Since the beginning of 2016, FINA has already invested around USD one million in its unannounced out-of-competition testing programme.”

Read more from The Straits Times here.