Summary of Press Briefing on FISA Ruling
In the press briefing, Matt Smith, FISA Executive Director, explained that FISA had held two doping hearing panels last night. As a result of this, the Russian lightweight men’s double sculls have been disqualified and the Russian women’s eight has been excluded because one athlete was ineligible here in Munich. Substitution of an athlete after the start of a regatta is only possible for medical reasons, the women’s eight cannot continue to compete in this regatta loosing their chance to qualify for the Olympics at this event.
Matt Smith emphasized that these cases did not involve prohibited substances, but a prohibited method; intravenous infusion. Anti-doping tests were carried out on the athletes involved just before the Championships and that testing was negative.
As investigations are still underway no further information can be revealed before tomorrow.
Last year, rower Olga Samulenkova of the Russian women’s quadruple scull tested positive for an exogenous source of metabolites of testosterone. Although she had been tested before the Championships, the test result had been communicated to FISA in September, after the athlete had won a gold medal at the 2006 World Rowing Championships. The crew then subsequently lost their title and the athlete was banned from competition in the sport of rowing for two years.
FISA’s efforts to fight doping have always been highly regarded. Just last week, FISA conducted 44 out of competition tests on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 at the regatta course, and all tests have come back negative. There are no pending results as of the start of this year’s championships.