Swimming body FINA ready to probe Russia allegations

Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:33pm EDT
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By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Swimming's world body FINA promised on Wednesday to investigate "as a matter of utmost urgency" new allegations of Russian doping if they could be substantiated by evidence.

The Times of London newspaper reported earlier that Russia had for years undertaken systematic doping in swimming and covered up test results.

The Russian swimming federation rejected the allegations, which come as the nation battles an athletics doping scandal that could prevent the country's track and field squad from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

FINA said in a statement it had noted the Times' allegations and was aware more could be made in coming days.

"We have called on the Times to share with us any information they may have which might assist us in our primary objective of protecting clean athletes in swimming," the statement said.

"Any new allegations of doping in our sport, which are substantiated by evidence and which have not already been addressed, will be investigated as a matter of utmost urgency, because we have absolutely zero tolerance for the use of performance-enhancing substances in swimming."

It added that, while not aware of any concrete evidence of systemic doping in Russian swimming, it had taken a "particularly robust approach" to anti-doping procedures regarding Russia and Russian competitions and provided a detailed breakdown of extensive testing carried out in the country.

The Times said more than a dozen Russian swimmers had been suspended in the past three years for doping.   Continued...