Two Russian Olympic Swimmers Provisionally Suspended for Doping Violations

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.

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2 months ago


2 months ago

Glad they banned the Russian Federation but not the Russian Olympic Committee, seems like that really fixed the doping problem.

Reply to  ACC
2 months ago

These cases are from years ago though, they were just hidden by RUSADA.

The current russian swimming team is pretty young and is not affected by this. I don’t know if they’ve fixed the problem but judging them for what others done in the past is not fair.

Last edited 2 months ago by KnifeSmile
Reply to  KnifeSmile
2 months ago

These swimmers were going to swim in Tokyo so I really don’t know how you can say the current team isn’t affected by this.

Reply to  ACC
2 months ago

I was referring to the younger swimmers. Of course there are some veterans in the team, and I’m not surprised that some of them were using doping in the past. So good for WADA banning them now if they’ve found the evidence in the LIMS database.

But unless some of the young talented swimmers test postive (Chupkov, Kolesnikov,Minakov…), I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt.

Reply to  KnifeSmile
2 months ago

When a problem is systemic, yes you can question the whole team.

Fina Fide
2 months ago

[Act surprised] Russians caught doping [/end Act Surprised]

Sapnu puas
2 months ago


2 months ago

The only option was to give the ROC the death penalty–a full ban from the Tokyo games and no Russian athletes are allowed to compete. Might be unfair to the athletes who are truly clean, but at this point I have no confidence in saying a Russian athlete is clean even if they have never failed a doping test–especially if they train within Russia.

Reply to  HJones
2 months ago

Yet, Yefimova was allowed to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2021 Summer Olympics. It should be one or the other but not both.

The Russian athletes should be immediately tested the minute the plane lands in Japan.

Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Testing people in competition is almost pointless. Anyone who has doped has been cycled off for months by now.

Reply to  HJones
2 months ago

Completely agree. It was a cowardly decision not to completely ban Russian athletes from competing. They are still not serious about cleaning up doing and won’t be until they face actual consequences. And while it may suck for the few clean athletes there, too bad, try to get citizenship elsewhere to compete rather than competing for a country that systematically cheats.

Reply to  Jtthomas
2 months ago

Remember, these violations for these athletes are not new but newly uncovered

2 months ago

Quick poll!

Up vote if not surprised. Down vote if you are shocked by this news.

Swim Dad
Reply to  2Fat4Speed
2 months ago

How do I vote if I’m shocked that it’s only 2 swimmers caught?

2 months ago

Due russi che erano gia’ a Tokyo a quanto pare erano positivi in passato,e quindi niente olimpiadi per loro, ma la verità è che sono tutti dopati, la follia dei tribunali sportivi li ha ammessi a Tokyo, o meglio, ha ammesso i russi “PULITI” ovvero quelli mai beccati positivi, il tutto dopo che è stato appurato che un sistema criminale faceva sparire provette, modificava dati e copriva i proprio atleti con ogni mezzo, in una situazione simile dimostrata nessuno andava ritenuto pulito, perché al 99.9% nessuno lo era, alcuni erano semplicemente stati coperti meglio o fortunati, la STRAGRANDE parte di questi atleti “fortunati” sono a Tokyo e fra qualche giorno inizieranno a rubare medaglie.

2 months ago

Great, but are FINA-WADA-ITA going to release, prior to start of Tokyo swimming, a list of who has been tested and when for this cycle, or at least in the past 12-18 months? They have done that in previous years. Generalized numbers of (recent) tests administered reveals nothing. Would be good if nations’ anti-doping authorities would release some domestic data as well, especially given the pandemic.