RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Two Russian rowers will miss the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which open on Friday, despite being given a reprieve by the top sports court to compete.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on Thursday that the exclusion of Anastasia Karabelshikova and Ivan Podshivalov over a past doping sanction, as called for by the International Olympic Committee, was “unenforceable”.
CAS then sent the case back to the International Rowing Federation (FISA) to decide on their eligibility “without delay”.
FISA, however, ruled that Karabelshikova was ineligible because she did not meet IOC conditions for “reliable adequate international tests”. These are tests carried out by authorities other than Moscow following the earlier drug suspension.
Although Podshivalov met the IOC conditions on his tests, the Russian team did not pick him.
“The Russian Rowing Federation has confirmed that they will not change the line up of the men’s four and Ivan Podshivalov will stay in Moscow,” FISA said on Friday.
The controversy over doping by Russian athletes has dominated the run-up to Games, with rowing just one of several sports from which they have been banned either partially or fully. A total of 19 rowers have been banned and only six will be competing, making up two crews.
Rowing events begin on Saturday on the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, just north of Rio’s Ipanema beach area.
Reporting by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Alison Williams