UPDATE: Despite several comments from Russian officials, FINA denies that they have the final say on Morozov and Lobintsev competing in Rio.
Russian state-run media outlet TASS is reporting that both Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev have been given the green light by FINA to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Russian sports lawyer, Artyom Patsev, stated to TASS today, August 2nd, “Yes, Morozov and Lobintsev were granted permission from FINA to take part in the Olympics.”
FINA named both Morozov and Lobintsev as two of three swimmers who were a part of the “disappearing positives” program run by Russian doping authorities that turned positive tests into negative (clean) tests.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had instructed International Federations that all athletes who have previously been sanctioned for doping violations or who were named in the McLaren IP report related to the disappearing positive tests were ineligible for the Olympics, but largely put the onus on international federations.
Both Morozov and Lobintsev had lodged appeals with the Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS) and a decision from that organization was expected today.
In the meantime, Russian Swimming Federation President Vladimir Salnikov said in a press conference last week 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.”
Morozov and Lobintsev are key components of Russian relays, with Morozov having been part of the nation’s bronze medal-winning 4x100m freestyle squad at the 2012 Olympics, while Lobintsev scored a silver as part of Russia’s 4x200m freestyle relay in Beijing.
Reigning World Champion breaststroker, Yulia Efimova, also filed her appeal with CAS on July 31st, but no decision on her Olympic participation has yet been announced.