Systematic drug use in Russian swimming, says The Times

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Russia has undertaken systematic doping in swimming for years, the Times newspaper said on Wednesday, as the nation battles a drugs problem that could prevent the country’s track and field squad from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The English newspaper said its investigation had unearthed “systematic” drug use in the sport, where more than a dozen Russian swimmers were suspended in the past three years for doping.

The Times said Dr Sergei Portugalov, Chief of the Russian Athletics Federation’s Medical Commission, who was said to have provided banned substances to Russian athletes, was also involved in swimming.

Dr Portugalov was named in a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report on systematic doping in Russian athletics a few months ago.

“Calls for Russian swimmers to be excluded from the Games will grow after the investigation revealed that Portugalov, the doctor recommended for a lifetime ban by WADA as a key player at the heart of Russia’s doping scandal, actively encouraged the national swimming team to adopt a systematic doping policy,” the newspaper said.

Read Reuters

Also on Reuters: “Russian swimming federation denies doping use allegations: R-sport

The R-sport story

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