FINA Approves Only Some of the WR Standards Swum at 2013 Euro SC; Still Waiting on Russia

In quite a bold statement, FINA has approved some of the World Record breaking performances from the 2013 European Short Course Championships in Herning, Denmark, but only those that didn’t involve Russian swimmers.

Rather than risking having to revise records after-the-fact, and with clean drug tests as one of the standards to break a World Record, FINA has not yet ratified several World Records from that meet, however, that included Yulia Efimova and Vitaly Melnikov, both of whom were on Russian gold medal winning relays and are still working through their hearings and appeals processes.

Those records ratified by FINA this week include the women’s 200 medley relay and the women’s 200 free relay, both of which were set by Denmark with clean anti-doping tests.

200 SCM Medley Relay – WOMEN’S

SHORT COURSE FINA WORLD RECORD
TIME
NAME
NAT
DATE
PLACE
> 1:45.92 DENMARK DEN 15.12.2013 Herning, DEN
Mie NIELSEN
Rikke MOLLER PEDERSEN
Jeanette OTTESEN
Pernille BLUME

200 SCM Freestyle Relay – WOMEN’S

SHORT COURSE FINA WORLD RECORD
TIME
NAME
NAT
DATE
PLACE
> 1:37.04 DENMARK DEN 12.12.2013 Herning (DEN)
Pernille BLUME
Jeanette OTTESEN
Kelly RIEBER RASMUSSEN
Mie NIELSEN

Interestingly, FINA has approved, not provisionally but officially, the 1:33.65 that the Italian men swam in the 200 medley relay in prelims for the top seed.

This is where things get a little more complicated, because there were three countries faster than that time in finals:

  • Russia (1:32.38)
  • Italy (1:32.83)
  • Germany (1:33.06)

Properly, FINA has ratified Italy’s 1:33.65 from prelims as a World Record – regardless of what happens with Russia’s doping tests, that was a record that belongs in the progression.

However, if Vitaly Melnikov winds up being stripped of his results as the backstroker on that relay for Russia, then Italy’s 1:32.83 from finals would be the new World Record. Otherwise, Russia’s 1:32.83 becomes the World Record. For now, the official record is below:

200 SCM Medley Relay – MEN”S

SHORT COURSE FINA WORLD RECORD
TIME
NAME
NAT
DATE
PLACE
> 1:33.65 ITALY ITA 12.12.2013 Herning, DEN
Niccolo BONACCHI
Francesco DI LECCE
Piero CODIA
Luca DOTTO

The three other records broken in Herning were each handled a little differently as well.

FINA has Russia’s 200 mixed free relay, which included neither Efimova, Melnikov, or any other of a number of Russians who have had positive tests recently, listed as “pending FINA approval.” This indicates that FINA is awaiting outcomes of doping actions before they fully accept any of Russia’s World Records. By listing it on the site, however, even as “pending FINA approval,” they’ve taken a different tact than the prior records.

SHORT COURSE FINA WORLD RECORD
TIME NAME NAT DATE PLACE
* 1:29.53 RUSSIA RUS 14.12.2013 Herning, DEN
Sergey FESIKOV (M)
Vladimir MOROZOV (M)
Rozaliya NASRETDINOVA (W)
Veronika POPOVA (W)

As for Efimova’s 200 breaststroke, the only individual record broken in Herning for now it seems to have been ignored altogether. FINA still lists Rebecca Soni’s 2:14.57 as the World Record, with no mention of Efimova’s 2:14.39 as a provisional record, actual, record, or anything else of that nature.

The one situation that FINA really was able to sidestep was the 200 mixed medley relay. In Herning, Vitaly Melniko, Yulia Efimova, Svetlana Chimrova, and Vlad Morozov, with the first two of those testing positive for banned substances, swam a 1:37.63, which at the time broke Australia’s World Record in the event.

However, the Americans in that fateful tie-breaker relay at the 2013 Duel in the Pool swept in a week later and cleared that mark, with a 1:37.17. That left FINA able to step around the Russian Record for now, until matters are settled with the doping cases and they decide whether it goes into the progression.

200 SCM Medley Relay – MIXED

SHORT COURSE FINA WORLD RECORD
TIME NAME NAT DATE PLACE
> 1:37.17 USA USA 21.12.2013 Glasgow, GBR
Eugene GODSOE (M)
Kevin CORDES (M)
Claire DONAHUE (W)
Simone MANUEL (W)

So for now, five events have new World Records, and two are still ‘on hold.’ Efimova’s hearing in front of the FINA Anti-Doping Panel has been completed and they are deliberating on their decision. With an appeal to the CAS almost certainly coming, those races could remain up-in-the-air for a while.

The ideal scenario is for them to be settled, one-way-or-another, by the time this year’s World Short Course Championships roll around, so that swimmers know exactly what target they’re shooting for.

 

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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