Vlad Morozov Releases Statement on Facebook Page About Olympic Ban

World Champion sprinter Vlad Morozov has posted an open letter to FINA president Julio Maglione on his Facebook page on Tuesday after Monday’s announcement that he would not be allowed to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games.

In the letter, Morozov points out that he has been tested by 5 different anti-doping authorities, both in-competition and out-of-competition, and has never had a positive test or a missed test.

FINA named Morozov as one of 3 Russian swimmers who were named by Richard McLaren in his WADA-sanctioned report on the Russian state-run doping coverup. Aside from those names announced as being ineligible for the Olympics, like the ones released by FINA, the names of swimmers that McLaren has accused of cheating the system has not been made public, and FINA’s release provided no clarity on what exactly the accusations were against Morozov and fellow would-be Olympians Nikita Lobintsev and Daria Ustinova.

Morozov has spent most of his elite swimming career training in the United States, though since turning pro he has shifted a lot of his time to training in Russia.

Yulia Efimova is already planning an appeal to the CAS, according to her agent, though she was barred from the Olympics in a different group of 4 athletes as a result of a prior positive test.

While Morozov’s letter pleads his case to Maglione, Maglione has also expressed displeasure with the decisions of WADA and the IOC, telling Russian state-controlled media that the McLaren commission “exceeded its powers.”

Dear Julio Maglione,

Recently I found that due to a decision by FINA I can no longer compete in the Olympic Games 2016. It is of a great surprise to me.
I’ve always been a clean athlete. Throughout the last 6 years I’ve been drug tested by doping control agencies at my home and at the pool, at least once a month, and sometimes every other day. I’ve been controlled by  FINA, WADA, RUSADA, USADA, UKAD in competition and out. Throughout these years of constant doping control I have never had a positive test or a missed test.
I am sure that I am a clean athlete and my name must stay clean, supported by the facts of testing throughout the years. I am sure that in a justice-driven system I have full right to take part in the Olympic Games.
I deeply respect Olympic values and am asking you with hope in justice and truth to let me compete at the Olympic Games.

With best regards,
Vladimir Morozov.

Member of Russian National Swimming Team.

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65 Comments on "Vlad Morozov Releases Statement on Facebook Page About Olympic Ban"

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I’ve been as hard on cheaters as anyone in these articles. Especially hard on Dave Salo for having coached many of the alleged dopers.

But If what he claims is true, I can’t imagine anything worse than being banned from the Olymic games when you know you are clean.

You are correct when you say that it is a terrible shame to be banned from the Olympics when you know you are clean. The truth is, we don’t know whether Morozov, or any of the other athletes barred from the Olympics are clean or not. I’d like to believe him when he says he’s clean. Unfortunately, never testing positive doesn’t mean an athlete is clean, it just means he has never tested positive. History has seen many instances where athletes have doped, but have never tested positive (Lance Armstrong, the East German women’s swim team, et al). Our justice system is based on the belief that it’s better for the guilty to go free, rather than have the innocent… Read more »
Agree…and a couple thoughts to add: First, testing thresholds are set relatively high which allows for athletes to micro-dose and come in under the limit. The other thing is up until recently meladonium was not banned. How many other athletes have used it over the years, then ceased using it in time before the ban? How many other medications/supplements have something in it that is allowed now, but may ultimately get banned? Don’t remember exactly the name, but a while back one of the lead USADA doctors said rather flatly that the testing can never keep up with cheaters. It’s tough being a fan of this and other sports these days. Most reactions on discussion boards to amazing performances eventually… Read more »
Zholty_Banan

what if the Olympic committee themselves had tests done at the olympics when these russian athletes showed up… I am not knowledgeable of the current methods of cheating the tests but from what Ive heard it was almost a completely vertical scam. as in the organisation that ran the tests had corruption. Its just a pity they cant figure something out. I remember watching the ncaa nats when vlad did the 17.86 50 relay split (this guy has mad talent) but in the world of pro swimming being 5’10 can set you back so I wouldn’t think it out of the realm of possibility that he has doped since going pro

Vlad is over 6 foot…

Maybe by NBA standards..

As someone who has trained with the Trojan program, I have seen the athletes being tested almost on a weekly basis since January. There was a period of time in February where there was testing daily – on russians, americans, canadians and other foreigners. If these guys aren’t clean, it’s hard to have faith in anything. And as far as Salo goes, if you spend a minute on deck with him, you get the feeling that he truly believes there is no need for supplements (of any kind). In his mind, he is a genius – a “do my program to the letter and you will have success” sort of attitude. According to him, his athletes that follow that cannot… Read more »
It looks like those who’s doped being under coach Salo’s training care didn’t believe that doing his program to the letter will guarantee the succes and were willing to take a risk by seeking for the extra help from pharmacy. Or he just has a bad luck to attract addictive to the doping people who cannot stop no matter how good the training program is. In any case, as it was mentioned by many at this forum, how such experience person couldn’t be aware of such issues with his swimmers. Maybe he doesn’t care, considering that there is none of his business to control those adults out of practice time. Or maybe he was training so many dopers that he’s… Read more »

I know some people argue ‘how can you hold the coach responsible’, – but as a coach, you have to know the environment where your swimmers come from and who they train with, especially international swimmers. At what point will coaches be held accountable?

Although I do agree, Dave maintained a different sort of relationship with his Pro athletes:
1. He is employed by USC – not Trojan. He volunteers his time to train the Pros and isn’t paid.
2. All his Pros want to be there day in and day out – he isn’t chasing anyone around and babysitting.
3. He is giving his Pros the swim training to be better. Anything else is on your own (Dave always maintained that his program, not even necessarily lifting, was all you needed to be better).

Andrei Vorontsov

The Russian Swimming Federation paid to Salo for coaching Efimova 150 USD a week since 2011. I negotiated that condition with Dave before Efimova joined the programme in early 2011. Do not know about Lobintsev and Sukhorukov.

The Trojan Swim Club is a non profit corporation and in 2013 Salo received $18,000 payment for being the President of the club according to the 990 form (latest available). The club does generate revenue and writes off expenses (traveling, etc.). By your statement and Andrei Vorontsov’s comment, it seems as though some athletes have to pay up while others get a free ride. This same thing happened at Vlad’s previous club team.

As someone who has trained with the Trojan program, I have seen the athletes being tested almost on a weekly basis since January. There was a period of time in February where there was testing daily – on russians, americans, canadians and other foreigners. If these guys aren’t clean, it’s hard to have faith in anything. And as far as Salo goes, if you spend a minute on deck with him, you get the feeling that he truly believes there is no need for supplements (of any kind). In his mind, he is a genius – a “do my program to the letter and you will have success” sort of attitude. According to him, his athletes that follow that cannot… Read more »

Lance Armstrong did indeed fail drug tests. He paid and I imidated his way out of having them reported.

Samples are preserved and retested to take advantage of advances in testing. Throwing a blanket of suspicion over everyone (except your personal favorites) is not the answer. Dismissing the clean test history of any athlete is unfair to all who are not cheaters.

Need to Believe

We all love sport. We all want to see equity across the board and be able to have faith in the ‘system’. It is very hard to be an elite athlete, worrying about everything you ingest – simple headache or cold remedies, the extra protein at the local smoothie store, herbal medicine, or even the meat in some foreign countries that may have extra steroids. There will be cheaters. We have to trust that the doping control system keeps an even playing field. If athletes have multiple clean tests, we have to believe them. Otherwise there is no point in maintaining the system we have.

AsCleanAsMyDirtyLaundry

Just man up and take your loss….I’d respect him a lot more for admitting what we all know

Irish Ringer

Yes, I like how all these hard cases are giving him a pass.

What are you talking about

Irish Ringer

Just read the tone of these comments. Usually this crowd is saying how awful these cheats are, but they aren’t so harsh with Vlad. Maybe some trojan fans?

Russian and USC. Not looking good by association. I have yet to hear an athlete admit any guilt.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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