Russian swimmers Alexandr Kudashev and Veronika Andrusenko have been provisionally suspended for allegations of anti-doping rule violations 9 days before the start of the Tokyo Olympic Games, FINA announced Wednesday.
They did not necessarily have new positive doping tests, but new evidence was found from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) while reviewing data that was enough to give them anti-doping violations (ADRV’s.) The details of that evidence were not mentioned in FINA’s press release.
“The ADRVs were asserted on the basis of evidence supplied by WADA, and stemming from WADA’s examination of materials recovered from the former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, including the Laboratory Information Management System,” states the FINA press release.
The investigation and procedure is still ongoing, but for now, both athletes have been given a provisional suspension.
Kudashev was entered in the 200 fly, an event he posted a lifetime best time of 1:55.48 in April to make the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Olympic roster. He won gold at the 2019 World University Games, where his previous lifetime best time was swum.
Two-time Olympian Andrusenko was scheduled to swim the 200 freestyle, an event she holds the Russian National record in at 1:55.08 from the 2017 World Championships.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, seven Russian aquatic athletes were pulled from the Olympics due to anti-doping violations.
Four tested positive for banned substances and three were named in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s McLaren report which detailed a large, state-sponsored doping program to help shield Russian athletes from bans.
By appealing through the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) field offices, a few, including 100 breaststroke silver medalist Yuliya Efimova, were cleared to compete.
In 2019, CAS ruled that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was non-compliant after they failed to turn over data by the deadline, giving the Russian Federation a soft four-year ban.
This means the Russian Federation will not compete at the 2020 or 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games (or any World Championships) but Russian athletes may compete under the name and flag of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Other consequences of this ban include that the Russian flag and national anthem cannot be present at the Olympics, Paralympics or World Championships and the nation cannot bid to host any Olympic Games during those four years.
Full FINA Press Release:
Two athletes entered to compete in the swimming competition of Tokyo 2020 have been provisionally suspended, following the assertion of anti-doping rule violations (ADRV’s), and a procedure is now on-going. The athletes are Alexandr KUDASHEV (ROC) and Veronika ANDRUSENKO (ROC).
The ADRVs were asserted on the basis of evidence supplied by WADA, and stemming from WADA’s examination of materials recovered from the former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, including the Laboratory Information Management System.
“FINA is grateful to WADA for its diligence in helping to ensure clean competition at Tokyo 2020,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam. “As a proud signatory of the WADA Code, we have followed up quickly and carefully to process the information supplied as a result of the work of WADA’s Investigations and Intelligence unit. FINA remains fully committed to protecting clean athletes and promoting clean competition at Tokyo 2020, just as we do for all the events on our calendar.”
FINA’s out of competition testing and test distribution planning are handled by the International Testing Agency, which also handles the Tokyo 2020 anti-doping programme on behalf of the IOC. FINA is thankful for the ITA’s efforts which have ensured that, despite the circumstances of the pandemic, an effective volume and targeting of out-of-competition testing has been maintained in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.