WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Russia’s men’s quadruple sculls crew have been banned from the Rio Olympics after one of their members failed a doping test in May, the world governing body FISA said on Friday.
Sergej Fedorovtsev provided a urine sample at an out-of-competition test conducted by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency on May 17 and tested positive for the prohibited substance trimetazidine, FISA said in a statement.
The Russian crew won the ‘last chance’ qualifying regatta in Lucerne and advanced to the Rio Games. They will be replaced by third-placed New Zealand.
FISA said Fedorovtsev’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples tested positive for the substance, which is typically used for the treatment of the heart condition angina pectoris and is a banned metabolic modulator. The ‘B’ sample was tested on Thursday.
The ban is the latest in an ongoing doping scandal within the Olympic powerhouse, with their track and field athletes banned from competing at Rio after a World Anti-Doping Agency report last year identified systemic doping in the country.
Swimming’s world governing body FINA is also investigating reports of doping amongst Russian swimmers, while the country’s weightlifters face a ban from the International Olympic Committee following re-testing of previous samples.
Rowing New Zealand confirmed earlier this week that three crews, including the men’s quadruple sculls, had returned to training after missing out on qualifying for Rio, in case there were any failed doping tests and quota spots reallocated by FISA.
The men’s four were also continuing to train after they finished third in Lucerne. Russia’s men’s four qualified that boat for Rio at last year’s world championships.
“We have appreciated the emotional ups and downs as the athletes first missed qualification only to be asked to remain in competition mode,” RNZ chief executive Simon Peterson said on Friday.
“We are hugely disappointed that our athletes found themselves competing against cheats however very pleased ... they have achieved their goal of winning a spot at the Olympic Games in Rio.”
Editing by Ken Ferris/Mark Lamport-Stokes