Rio 2016: Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova appeals FINA ban following IOC verdict

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The legal battle to compete in next month’s Olympics has begun as Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova was the first to appeal her exclusion from the Rio Games by swimming body FINA, acting on criteria set out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC declined to impose a blanket ban on Russian competitors over state-run doping, a decision which was met with fierce criticism elsewhere with Olympic chiefs branded “spineless”.

In one of the most momentous moves in its long, chequered history, the IOC said it was up to each international sports federation to decide if Russians could take part in Rio.

Swimming governing body FINA announced a ban on seven Russian swimmers, making it the first international federation to impose sanctions in light of the IOC decision.

Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev, both 4x100m freestyle bronze-medal winners with the Russian team at the 2012 Olympics, and Efimova, another 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, were among the seven banned.

Efimova, 24, a four-time world breaststroke champion, whose provisional ban for testing positive for meldonium was overturned by FINA in May, will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), her agent Andrei Mitkov told R-Sport.

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