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.