Three-time Olympic medalist Dmitry Volkov believes that in spite of the International Olympic Committee ruling today that defending 100 breaststroke World Champion Yulia Efimova would compete in Rio.
The IOC announced today that while it was not placing a full-bore suspension on the Russian Olympic Committee that any Russian athletes who have ever been sanctioned for a doping violation would be barred from competing in Rio.
Voklov has been honored by Russia with the title Honored Master of Sports and is the editor-in-chief of a Russian industry magazine called “Swimming.” He’s also a member of the Presidium for the Moscow region’s swimming (similar to an LSC Board of Directors in the United States).
Volkov won three medals as a breaststroker in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games and has been quoted today by Sports.Ru as saying (translated from Russian) “The right to decide on participation in the Olympics has been given to the international federations.
So, FINA is our partner in many projects and its leadership are our good comrades….Their opinions about what is happening is well known. Their loyalty we should expect. Their opinion is as follows: Yulia Efimova will take part in the Olympics. I have confidence in this.”
FINA has not released a statement on the issue and has not responded to several requests for comment this week.
Prior to the McLaren report, released last week, that showed a regime of state-sponsored doping corruption in Rio, though, FINA did release a statement citing “concern” for calls to ban Russia wholesale by American and Canadian anti-doping authorities. A few days prior to that, FINA officials traveled to Russia to commend the Russian Federation on their fight against doping and to discuss future partnerships between the two.
Efimova is one of four swimmers on the Olympic roster who have previously been involved in anti-doping proceedings. While the IOC today did release a statement saying that international federations (IFs) like FINA would be in charge of setting the standard by which Russian athletes would have to prove that they aren’t doping, they also unequivocally stated that “the (Russian Olympic Committee) is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games…who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.”
The directive about no prior offenders participating in Rio was presented outside of the jurisdiction of International Federations, and says that the IOC will not accept any Russian entries to the Olympics that do not meet that standard.