With the Olympic Games set to kick off at the end of July, preparations for the Games are beginning in all sports, not just in swimming. In this series, SwimSwam looks at some of the leading news from outside of swimming as athletes around the world continue to prepare and qualify for the rescheduled Olympic Games which are due to begin in Tokyo on July 23rd, and Paralympic Games, which are scheduled to begin August 24th.
Two Members of Russia’s Olympic Rowing Team Removed From Competition Following Failed Drug Tests
Less than a month out from the beginning of Olympic competition, two members of Russia’s rowing team have been replaced after testing positive for meldonium during the team’s training camp last month. The two athletes were Nikita Morgachev and Pavel Sorin. While Sorin would have been competing in his first Olympics, this summer would have been Morgachev’s fourth
Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said that the Russian rowing federation must, “take all comprehensive measures to ascertain the circumstances of this incident, which can only be called outrageous.”
This isn’t the first time that athletes from Russia have tested positive for the substance since it was added to the banned list in 2016. That same year tennis player Maria Sharapova tested for the substance and was issued a 15-month ban. Two years later Olympic medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his medal after testing positive following the 2018 Games.
Fiji Athletes Make Use of Cargo Plane to Travel to Tokyo
As the nation of Fiji struggles to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus that has shut down almost all air travel, the national team was forced to make their trip to Japan by way of a cargo plane carrying frozen seafood.
The flight totaled roughly 50 athletes and officials, including the country’s rugby team that produced Fiji’s first medal-winning performance at the 2016 games. Prior to boarding the plane, athletes and officials were required to spend 96 hours in isolation and return negative Covid-19 test results. One official that was originally slated to go to Tokyo was forced to withdraw from the Games due to a positive test.
2016 Paralympic Gold Medalist Claire Cashmore to Make Switch From Swimming to Triathalon
A member of Great Britain’s gold medal-winning 400 free relay in Rio, Claire Cashmore will now take on a new challenge in her 5th Paralympic Games, the triathlon.
Between 2004 and 2016, Cashmore won eight medals at the Paralympic Games. In 2009, she set the world record in the SM9 100 IM. She also has won World Championship titles on three occasions, most recently in 2015 as part of Great Britain’s 400 medley relay.
Huge congratulations to our eight Para triathletes who are on the plane to Tokyo 2020!#ImpossibleToIgnore
— ParalympicsGB (@ParalympicsGB) July 8, 2021
Cashmore initially began competing in para triathlon in 2017. In 2019, she was the World Champion in the event. Her classification, PTS5, is considered one of the most competitive.