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,
Member of Russian National Swimming Team.