Vladimir Salnikov, president of the Russian Swimming Federation, announced in a press conference that Russian sprinter and gold medal contender Vlad Morozov will be appealing his ban from competing in Rio at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Morozov, who has spent much of his swimming career in LA and has ties with USC, was named along with Nikita Lobintsev and Daria Ustinova in the McLaren Report. FINA, in accordance with the IOC decision on Russian sports, banned seven swimmers from the Games; four who had already reportedly tested positive for a banned substance (like Yulia Efimova, who has set out plans to appeal with CAS), and three others.
While it was initially unclear why Morozov, who had never reportedly tested positive for a banned substance or served any doping-related sentences, was withdrawn from the games by FINA, the WADA today confirmed that Morozov (along with Lobintsev and Ustinova) were involved in the Russian methodology of “disappearing positives.” The McLaren reports claims that these specific three swimmers were part of a Russian scheme to dispose of any positive findings of banned substances.
According to the Russian state-owned news agency Tass.ru, Russian Swimming Federation president Salnikov said in a press conference that (roughly translated from Russian), “the president of FINA Julio Maglione [a] few days ago expressed support for athletes Morozov [and] Lobintsov… [they have] not committed any violations[.] FINA has asked WADA confirms the information I hope that in the end the report of the independent commission WADA Richard McLaren will not affect their participation in the Olympic Games.”
Salnikov also stated that “we believe that the information contained in the report of McLaren, should be public. Athletes have the right to sue,” and that “the claim should be reviewed within 24 hours. I think we will use this right. Morozov addressed the WWF with a request to provide information support I think he will appeal to the CAS.”