Doping violations could have Russian Swimming Federation at risk for suspension, says Russian sports minister

A string of high-profile doping violations and suspensions could have Russia’s national swimming federation on the brink of being suspended as a whole, according to the country’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko.

Mutko told the Russian media that “the number of breaches of anti-doping rules in the international arena is on the brink,” NBC Olympic Talk reports. “One or two more breaches and the federation could be suspended altogether.”

Russia has been in the news quite frequently over the past several years for doping violations: just last week, Olga Klyuchnikova was handed a temporary suspension after testing positive at Russian Nationals, and World Record-holder Yuliya Efimova has begun her high-profile suspension and had several medals and a world record stripped, among several other cases.

Mutko’s comments might be more of a warning to the federation and its member swimmers than an actual statement of fact, though, at least if he is referencing a FINA suspension. A federation can be suspended under FINA rules if it has 4 or more doping violations within a 12 month period, but violations reported by the federation itself do not count towards that tally of four. SwimVortex reports that Efimova’s violation was the only one unreported by the Russian Federation.

Still, it’s clear the Russian Swimming Federation is under close scrutiny by fans and the Russian government, as doping violations continue to pile up. Russia will have the eyes of the swimming world upon them next year, as Kazan hosts the 2015 World Championships.

You can read Russian coverage of the sports minister’s comments here.

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6 years ago

It is completely obvious that the majority of Russian swimmers are doping for Kazan. And they still lag behind usa, australia an china.

Reply to  Pvdh
6 years ago

if the majority of Russians are doped and still lagging behind the countries you named, what does that say about those other countries? Especially given the prevalence of PED’s in all professional sports. maybe the Russians are the only ones getting caught.

6 years ago

Innocent until proven guilty. And Russia has been proven guilty. A lot. The other countries….not so much. They are either misusing the PED or the coaches don’t know what thy are doing….or a combination of both. Australia takes swimming way too seriously to risk doping charges…we saw the commotion over stilnox, a legal drug in most other countries. And not even a PED. Usa athletes, for the most part, come through the college system where they are tested a bunch. China is a little suspect, but a I said innocent until proven guilty.

Reply to  Pvdh
6 years ago

You think a country taking swimming seriously means that they wouldn’t risk doping charges? If anything, the culture of swimming in Australia and the opportunity for financial rewards makes the incentive for doping even greater. Their most famous swimmer, if you remember, had to fight off charges of elevated testosterone levels. There are also rumors of cover ups of positive tests at the World Championships by Aussie Swimming in the late ’90s. and you are using college testing as an example of US swimmers having stringent testing standards? are you familiar with the college system? it’s not exactly hard to beat those tests. nor do they do any blood testing. and the US is hardly innocent in regards to swimming… Read more »

Ray Woods
Reply to  Satchmo
6 years ago

Who are you?

Reply to  Ray Woods
6 years ago

Satchmo speaks the truth. Unless they are all tested in St. James Infirmary, college testing is a joke.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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