World Sailing Issues Russian Decision for Rio Games
Published on July 26th, 2016
Following an incorrect report by the Russian News Agency TASS, World Sailing issued the following statement on July 26, 2016 regarding the eligibility of sailing athletes from Russia at the Rio Games:
Following a conference call earlier today with its Board of Directors, World Sailing have provisionally confirmed the participation of six athletes from Russia for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games:
• Stefania Elfutina (RS:X Women)
• Maksim Oberemko (RS:X Men)
• Liudmila Dmitrieva (470 Women)
• Alisa Kirilyuk (470 Women)
• Sergey Komissarov (Laser Men)
• Denis Gribanov (470 Men)
The World Sailing Board carefully reviewed the decision taken earlier this week by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which determined that decisions regarding the eligibility of athletes for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games would be made by the International Federations; the criteria set forth by the IOC to determine eligibility; the rules and procedures of World Sailing; the anti-doping records of each athlete; and the results of the McLaren Investigation Report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
One athlete, Pavel Sozykin, was denied eligibility, based upon the findings of the McLaren Investigation Report. As Sozykin competes in the 470 Men’s Class, which is a two-person racing classification, World Sailing has recommended that the Russian Olympic Committee will have the opportunity to nominate a late athlete replacement.
The decision was communicated today, in writing, to the International Olympic Committee, the Russian Yachting Federation and the individual athletes.
The decision taken by World Sailing must be now be confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The six athletes provisionally confirmed today are in Rio de Janeiro preparing for the upcoming Olympic Games. At the direction of World Sailing, the athletes will be subject to further anti-doping testing and these tests will be sent to a WADA-accredited laboratory for analysis. As with any anti-doping test, an adverse analytical finding would render an athlete ineligible for the Games.
With regard to the upcoming Paralympic Games, no athletes from Russia had achieved the Paralympic Qualification Standard.
World Sailing Chief Executive Officer, Andy Hunt:
“The World Sailing Board of Directors carefully considered all relevant factors in making these determinations, including the guidance provided by the IOC, the results of the McLaren Investigation Report and our own rules and procedures.
“This is unprecedented territory for international sport as, collectively, we work to protect the integrity of sport and remain resolute in our commitment to eliminate doping. These efforts must be balanced with principles of fairness, due process and adherence to established rules.
“There is, however, no room in sailing for athletes who seek to gain an unfair advantage through the use of banned substances or who attempt to manipulate or subvert the anti-doping system. For World Sailing, there is no greater priority than protecting and preserving clean competition.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission had released a report on July 18 on the results of its probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
The report claimed that the commission found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service had covered up the doping program in Russian sports.
On July 24, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided against barring the Russian national team from participation in the Rio Olympics, instead placing the decision on each sport’s international authority whether to admit Russian athletes to the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.
Sailing at the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil will be held on August 8-19.
UPDATE (August 4, 2016): World Sailing received confirmation this morning from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that six sailing athletes from Russia have been declared eligible to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games:
Stefania Elfutina (RS:X Women)
Maksim Oberemko (RS:X Men)
Liudmila Dmitrieva (470 Women)
Alisa Kirilyuk (470 Women)
Sergey Komissarov (Laser Men)
Denis Gribanov (470 Men)
The athletes were provisionally nominated by World Sailing for participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 26 July, following a thorough review by the World Sailing and approval by its Board of Directors. The nominations were then reviewed by a three-person panel appointed by the IOC and an expert from the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Russian Olympic Committee and Russian Yachting Federation have been notified of the decision.