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Aussie McEvoy unfazed by uncertainty over Russian rival

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Australia's Cameron McEvoy after winning the men's 50m freestyle event on the final day of the Aquatic Super Series swimming event in Perth on February 6, 2016
Australia’s Cameron McEvoy after winning the men’s 50m freestyle event on the final day of the Aquatic Super Series swimming event in Perth on February 6, 2016

Australia’s Olympic sprint freestyle hope Cameron McEvoy remained unfazed Tuesday over a possible ban of Russian rival Vladimir Morozov, whose Rio hopes were in limbo along with those of compatriot Nikita Lobintsev.

Morozov and Lobintsev were among the Russians implicated the report detailing evidence of a state-backed system of covering up doping in the country and banned from the Games by swimming governing body FINA.

They took their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but FINA on Tuesday denied reports out of Moscow that both had been cleared to compete, saying the final decision would rest with an International Olympic Committee commission to review Russian entrants.

“Both athletes were named in the WADA IP Report,” FINA said. “The two athletes filed an appeal to CAS and FINA understands that this Court has forwarded the case to the IOC three-person commission for final decision.”

McEvoy, fastest man in the world this year in the 100m freestyle, said he wasn’t concerned about the outcome of the second-ranked Morozov’s appeal.

“The impact all this stuff has on my preparation is virtually nil,” he said. “Regardless of what happens I’m still going to rock up to the pool and do whatever session my coach gives me.

“I’m going to be behind that block for whatever races I’m in, I’m going to do the same – the same race plan the same strategy and absolutely nothing changes, regardless of any decision outside of my own little bubble.”

Speaking to Interfax news agency in Russia, Lobintsev’s agent, Andrei Mitkov said that both would be allowed to compete.

“We will meet with IOC representatives to discuss the outcome for this situation,” he said.

Morozov, 24, and Lobintsev, 27, have called on CAS to declare “invalid and unenforceable” an IOC order for federations to exclude athletes implicated in the independent report.

FINA, which banned seven Russian swimmers from Rio, said it had re-tested samples given by Russian Rio hopefuls at last year’s World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

“These samples, retested at the Barcelona laboratory, where they have been stored, returned no adverse findings,” FINA said.

Source by: AFP

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