Russian Participation in 2017 World Rowing events
In 2016 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commissioned two Independent Person reports led by Professor Richard McLaren that exposed an “institutionalised doping conspiracy and cover-up” in Russia during the period 2011 to 2015.
The World Rowing Federation, FISA, subsequently followed the directives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board to establish the eligibility of Russian rowers at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This meant a complete review of testing of Russian rowers since 2011. The outcome was that six of the 26 Russian rowers that had qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were declared eligible by the IOC to compete in Rio.
FISA has now established a process to ensure that any Russian rower wishing to compete in international rowing events in 2017 may do so as long as they have had a credible and internationally equivalent anti-doping testing regime.
“The FISA Executive Committee decided to take this action for the credibility of the sport and protection of clean rowers worldwide and due to the severity and extent of the manipulation indicated in the McLaren reports but, as well, respect the clean Russian rowers,” says FISA Executive Director Matt Smith. “The FISA Executive Committee has the authority and responsibility to take action to protect the integrity of the sport.”
The FISA anti-doping rules specify that FISA is entitled to require any rower for which it has testing authority over, to provide a sample at any time and be available for testing.
To protect the integrity of the sport FISA has required the Russian Rowing Federation (RRF) to provide a list of all athletes that would potentially be entered at the 2017 World Rowing Championships, World Rowing Under 23 Championships, World Rowing Junior Championships and the European Rowing Championships. This must be completed by 1 March 2017.
The list must include all anti-doping tests and results that have been carried out on these rowers since 1 January 2013. FISA will then review the list and decide on the next steps to ensure a level playing field in terms of anti-doping.
Any rower whose name is not on the list provided by the RRF, or whose previous testing history and subsequent testing results are not considered satisfactory by the FISA Executive Committee, will not be permitted to race in the events concerned in 2017.