Salo Proposes Bringing Foreigners to U.S. to Reduce Doping

In an interview with Rachel Bachman of The Wall Street Journal, Dave Salo, head coach of University of Southern California swimming and diving team and Trojan Swim Club, proposed a solution to the controversy that swirled overhead during the 2016 Olympic Games, in which several international swimmers who had been banned for doping violations were admitted to compete in Rio at the last minute. What if, Salo suggests, international athletes trained the United States, and made themselves available to U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for testing? Salo’s premise is that, by keeping a better eye on these international swimmers and subjecting all Olympic-level athletes to the same treatment, it would level the playing field and make the sport more fair for everyone.

Salo has coached a large number of foreign athletes, both as student-athletes at USC and as post-grads at Trojan Swim Club, over the years. Until recently, Russian breaststroker Yulia Efimova had trained under Salo’s tutelage, as had Nikita Lobintsev and Vlad Morozov. After the publication of the McLaren Report following the Russian doping scandal, Salo announced he would suspend all foreign athletes from training with his Trojan Swim Club until he can “somehow find a way to assure [the club] doesn’t have these kinds of problems.”

All athletes registered into USADA’s testing pool must make their whereabouts known to USADA by filing regular reports. They are expected to notify USADA where they are living, which hotels they stay in, where they are competing, where they train, where they go to school, etc. They also must “Provide daily accessibility for Testing during the times and at the precise locations specified on the Athlete’s Whereabouts Filing for the entire periods designated by the Athlete on the Athlete’s Whereabouts Filing.” (You can read USADA’s specific instructions to athletes here.)

Salo’s plan would involve charging a fee to foreign athletes to cover the cost of administering USADA’s rigorous testing program. Salo is quoted in the article as saying, “I’d rather have them here than in the shadows of Russia or China or Kenya or wherever they might train.” Bachman reported that USADA spokesman Ryan Madden said, “It’s an idea that we’ll certainly review and consider. I think the most important thing that can happen in this space is for the athletes and coaches—those who have the most to lose when others cheat—to step up, be heard and create a culture where athletes can compete, and win, clean.”

Salo has worked with a number of athletes who have had adverse analytical findings over the years, including American Jessica Hardy and international swimmers Mads Glaesner, Omar Pinzon, Ous Mellouli, Lobintsev, Morozov, and Efimova. That most of their failed tests were administered here in the United States underscores the point Salo is trying to make: let’s get the testing out in the open, so we’re all playing by the same rules.

Below is a list of the foreign athletes Salo has worked with in the recent past.

  • Alexander Sukhorukov (Russia)
  • Andrew Bree (Ireland)
  • Azad Al-Barazi (Syria)
  • Chad Bobrosky (Canada)
  • Christel Simms (Phillipines)
  • Clement Lefert (France)
  • Cristian Quintero (Venezuela)
  • Derrick Choi (Hong Kong)
  • Dimitri Colupaev (Germany)
  • Dominik Meichtry (Switzerland)
  • Glenn Snyders (New Zealand)
  • Harry Pullar (Australia)
  • Jeff Swanston (Canada)
  • Johanna Stenkvist (Sweden)
  • Joline Höstman (Sweden)
  • Kasia Wilk (Poland)
  • Katinka Hosszu (Hungary)
  • Katya Bachrouche (Lebanon)
  • Kosuke Kitajima (Japan)
  • Lynette Lim (Singapore)
  • Mads Glaesner (Denmark)*
  • Markus Rogan (Austria)
  • Mateusz Sawrymowicz (Poland)
  • Morten Klarskov (Denmark)
  • Nick Karpov (Canada)
  • Nikita Lobintsev (Russia)*
  • Octavio Alesi (Venezuela)
  • Omar Pinzon (Colombia)*
  • Otylia Jędrzejczak (Poland)
  • Ous Mellouli (Tunisia)*
  • Richard Charlesworth (UK)
  • Sergio Lujan-Rivera (Spain)
  • Stina Gardell (Sweden)
  • Thiago Pereira (Brazil)
  • Vladimir Morozov (Russia)*
  • Yana Martynova (Russia)*
  • Yulia Efimova (Russia)*



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Steve Nolan
4 years ago

That is a really bad idea. If USADA is so great – which it very well may be – you expand its powers internationally.

Though the whole “having to report where you are at all times” thing is equally terrible.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
4 years ago

And by expand its powers internationally I mean like, brining its practices and standards everywhere. Basically turn it into whatever the hell WADA was supposed to be.

I remember John Oliver having a flowchart on the million different organizations that funnels one responsibility to another. Basically just kill all those, I guess?

4 years ago

If they want to dope they will dope

4 years ago

Of course Salo wants them there, he gets the vig from the foreign countries.

Ole 99
Reply to  Honestly
4 years ago

I couldn’t help but think there’s s bit of a conflict of interest here seeing as je is paid to train foreign athletes.

Reply to  Ole 99
4 years ago

Supposedly, Salo is paid $150.00 per week to train Efimova. That’s $7800.00 per year for one athlete. No wonder he’s crunching the financials and trying to come up with a solution.

Reply to  bwiab
4 years ago

Lol that is far from the truth

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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