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.

In This Story

65
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
65 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alec
5 years ago

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.

Joeswimmer
Reply to  Alec
5 years ago

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 »

stoobie
Reply to  Joeswimmer
5 years ago

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
Reply to  Joeswimmer
5 years ago

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

Vladfan
Reply to  Zholty_Banan
5 years ago

Vlad is over 6 foot…

Bullet
Reply to  Vladfan
5 years ago

Maybe by NBA standards..

Trojan
Reply to  Alec
5 years ago

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 »

Prickle
Reply to  Trojan
5 years ago

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 »

jack Baker
Reply to  Alec
5 years ago

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?

Trojan
Reply to  jack Baker
5 years ago

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
Reply to  Trojan
5 years ago

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.

bwiab
Reply to  Trojan
5 years ago

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.

Trojan
Reply to  Alec
5 years ago

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 »

Fluidg
Reply to  Alec
5 years ago

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
Reply to  Alec
5 years ago

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
5 years ago

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

Irish Ringer
Reply to  AsCleanAsMyDirtyLaundry
5 years ago

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

Lol
Reply to  AsCleanAsMyDirtyLaundry
5 years ago

What are you talking about

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Lol
5 years ago

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?

Micah
5 years ago

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

M Palota
5 years ago

This is such a gong show… Countless track & field athletes with multiple confirmed positive tests are competing and this kid can’t because he’s been thrown under the bus by his federation can’t?

What are the circumstances here? Was he named in the McLaren Report? Has the Russian Swimming Federation provided any reason for dropping him?

John
Reply to  M Palota
5 years ago

Yes. The BBC says he was named in the McLaren report.

M Palota
Reply to  John
5 years ago

Thanks for the information and I’ll allow that that changes things.

John
Reply to  M Palota
5 years ago

While everywhere in the media it says he was named in the report, the publicly available part of the report has no mention of him. Perhaps he is mentioned in some way in another, “secret” part of the report? And why not make it public to ensure transparency and avoid double-guessing? While the report summarizes the state-controlled doping system in Russia, which hardly came as as surprise to anyone familiar with Russia and similar thing would be of an even lesser surprise were it about China, out of interest there are such questions as: is the report based on hard facts and bullet-proof evidence when it comes to accusing each individual – or is it based on oral testimony of… Read more »

Prickle
Reply to  John
5 years ago

” while Russia must be punished ….” What exactly do you mean by that? How is it possible to “punish Russia” without punishing Russian athletes? To punish just sport officials by banning them from any international activities? Or punish the state economically banning earnings from sport events?

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

I’m with you.

These Vlad defenders screaming “you can’t punish russian swimmers”.
Then how would they suggest a way to punish Russia for their government sponsored and financed systematic doping?

DMNP
5 years ago

If what he says is true, then that’s so unfair. Really hope the decision gets turned around. I’ve always loved watching him race at NCAAs, World Cups and World Champs, and would love to see him compete at the games.

Ferb
5 years ago

When South Africa was not allowed to compete in the Olympics due to their government’s apartheid policies, there were no exceptions for individual athletes who disavowed apartheid.

I don’t know whether Vlad’s clean or not, and it sucks if clean athletes are punished for their federation’s misdeeds, but Russia is known to have cheated on a massive state-sponsored scale. They actually had secret police intervening in the testing process to make sure that nobody was caught who they didn’t want caught. Atletes from the Russian federation should be banned period, otherwise the signal is clear that it is okay to cheat, as long as you pay your “consulting fees.”

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Ferb
5 years ago

Apartheid’s a whole world of difference away from doping, though.

Ferb
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 years ago

Of course it is. The point, though, is that this isn’t just about athletes choosing to cheat. It’s about a governmental program intended to completely subvert the rules, and the deployment of the secret police to supervise the cheating probably means that intimidation and/or threats were involved.

Cayley Guimarães
5 years ago

What a mess.

And, as usual, the athletes are left hanging…

Hard to believe
5 years ago

FINA isn’t going to ban someone just because they are Russian. It’s logical to believe he is in the McLaren report due to a failed retest. Otherwise it wouldn’t make any sense. I completely agree with a comment earlier about not testing positive doesn’t mean you are clean.

Bobthebuilderocks
Reply to  Hard to believe
5 years ago

Politics

Bo swims
Reply to  Hard to believe
5 years ago

May not be a failed retest. Could be sample swapping.

Purple Rain 99
Reply to  Bo swims
5 years ago

I agree there is a possibility it was due to sample swapping. But if the Russian machine is as good as they say it was, doesn’t the very fact that a sample was swapped imply guilt?

I am skeptical of this type of ban because to all of us outsiders, it sounds like any evidence of tampering can be a single person’s accusations or misremembered facts. Someone could have been interrogated by McLaren and simply thrown out names that sound familiar or were suggested to them.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Purple Rain 99
5 years ago

Did you even read the report?

the IP has in possession spreadsheet documents listing individual positive samples that were “saved” aka disapearing positives.

Purple Rain 99
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Are there any backup samples to provide firm evidence of drugs in urine? Part of my question is how much can you trust the people working the lab (to take good records, be honest, be competent, etc). THis is especially concerning since this is a corrupt lab. I now trust that Vlad doped but I can never be completely convinced. In my case this lingering doubt extends to a lot of accused dopers but more so for this case. Its kinda like the TV law show mantra “no body no crime”

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, …

Read More »