Vladimir Salnikov Calls Out Doubters of Russian Swimming Results: ‘They Are Afraid’

by Riley Overend 59

April 23rd, 2023 International, News, Records

Vladimir Salnikov was asked by Match TV about discussion online doubting the validity of results at the recent Russian Championships, and the All-Russian Swimming Federation president didn’t hold back with a fiery response on Sunday.

“All these statements are the destiny of the weak,” Salnikov said. “They get jealous, they make up ridiculous fantasies about the length of the pool, something else. All this causes a slight bewilderment.”

As for the doping allegations frequently hurled at Russia, Salnikov said that “process of testing never stops.” He added that Russia tests its athletes more than most other countries.

“Such statements are weakness,” Salnikov said, referring to doping allegations. “It means they are afraid.”

The dialogue was sparked by a huge world record in the 200-meter breaststroke courtesy of 18-year-old Evgeniia Chikunova, who blazed a 2:17.55 in Kazan to obliterate Tatjana Schoenmaker’s previous mark of 2:18.95 from the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. She dropped three seconds off her previous best from last July, but it wasn’t an entirely shocking result given that she narrowly missed the world record in the SCM 200 breast last November, falling .13 seconds of Rebecca Soni’s standard with a 2:14.70.

“She deserves all the praise she can get,” Salnikov said of Chikunova. “Her motivation is admirable. This is an example of how to find motivation and show good results. We always expect good surprises from her, and most of the time she delivers.”

Chikunova’s world record represented the second by a Russian swimmer over the past six months. At last November’s Solidarity Games, 22-year-old Kliment Kolesnikov set a new world standard in the SCM 50 backstroke with a 22.11. On Sunday, World Aquatics confirmed that Kolesnikov’s record is currently being finalized and will be available in the rankings “in due course.”

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5 months ago

The greatest mistake Americans did: in 90s we thought Russia is dead too early. Now they are different. They are strong and independent, their sports is rising again from ashes. Clearly, uneducated masses have not read Ukrainian author Gogol: “Leave Russians a small village, and we will still recreate the empire” (yes, he considered himself Russian, and in fact all people from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are the same folk). Downgrade me as much as you want, it won’t change the world’s reality. We need to admit the it and play the game from the very beginning

5 months ago

What a Putinesque response! No one is afraid. Everyone is skeptical based on their doping history.

5 months ago

Americans being hypocrite as always and Russians playing the victim card when they’re not as always…standards are so f low

This said, doping allegations on a super-talent such as Chikunova who already went 2:21 at 14 in 2019 are pretty much ridicoulous as far as I’m concerned

Feel free to downvote me as much as you want

Last edited 5 months ago by OLOAP
Reply to  OLOAP
5 months ago

Australians are bigger hypocrites than Americans

The unoriginal Tim
5 months ago

There are widely acclaimed swimmers who are way more sus than Chikunova. Just watch the video. Everything came together for a perfect race.

Breastroke is all timing and can so easily be off but the video shows how perfect it was.

Compare it to known doper Michelle Smith who looked awful winning in Atlanta when she stomped people with clearly better technique.

5 months ago

please ignore any statement of any russian officials.
they just want to survive.
you have never faced such circumstances.
really have not. believe me.
only in some history books maybe

Reply to  Rusfed
5 months ago

I mean, is there any reason to not treat United Russia and Russia’s bureaucracy as a faceless soulless monolith like the Communist Party of old? The similarities between how the two entities is more than just coincidence

Reply to  IM FAN
5 months ago

you may be partly right, yes.
since even in the parliament (!) all their decisions are made now unanimously.
like in north korea, i guess.

hopefully it will not last for a long time

5 months ago

The response from the rest of the world:

State sponsored doping.


Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
5 months ago

And the rest of the world is no better than the Russian Courts – Guilty without unquestioned proof. You have arrested, charged, tried, convicted an 18-year-old without a single shred of real evidence against her, instead using the history of her country to libel her and brand her for life. You must be so proud of yourself. Not only that, but I didn’t realize you were the voice for the rest of the world. One question: Who died and bequeathed you that role? Oh, never mind. I figured it out myself. It had to be common sense.

5 months ago

Afraid of doping, yes.

Last edited 5 months ago by phelpsfan
5 months ago

Afraid of doping, yes.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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