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International Swimming League to allow continued participation by Russian athletes

International Swimming League to allow continued participation by Russian athletes
December 13, 2019

Following the World Anti-Doping Agency decision to ban Russia’s participation in international sport competitions earlier this week, the International Swimming League (ISL) will allowed to continue Russian competitors to carry on swimming in its events.

With its inaugural finals to be held in the USA next weekend (20th and 21st December), the ISL have advised that Russian swimmers will not be prevented from competing in the International Swimming League as long as they have never failed a drugs test

On Monday WADA announced that Russia was banned from international competition as a punishment for manipulating data from the Moscow Laboratory.

However, ISL which does not allow any swimmer with a previous disqualification for breaking anti-doping rules to be part of any ISL club roster, will allow Russian athletes to compete if they can "demonstrably" prove they are above suspicion of using drugs.

While there are currently eight Russian swimmers competing in the ISL, this rules out, among others, Russia's Yuliya Efimova, a six-time world champion and triple Olympic medallist, who tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2013 and was banned for 16 months.

Her compatriots, though, will not be prevented from continuing to compete in the ISL, a competition founded by Moscow-based Ukrainian billionaire Konstantin Grigorishin, as long as they have never failed a drugs test.

In a statement, the ISL advised "our position on the participation of athletes in the International Swimming League is very clear: any swimmer with a previous disqualification for breaking anti-doping rules is not allowed to be part of any ISL club roster.

"Thus, ISL will continue to allow athletes from Russia to compete in the league if they do not have a previous doping ban.

"As a result, all Russian athletes currently competing in the league are free to continue competing, including at the upcoming Grand Final in Las Vegas.

"We will not ban clean Russian athletes solely because of their nationality.

"Athletes competing in our league are individuals and not representatives of nations.

"The ISL is an independent commercial organisation that works independently of governing bodies, the Olympic Movement, International Federations and National Federations."

The ISL, though, were keen to underline that they remained tough when it comes to dealing with potential doping.

The statement added "ISL respects WADA and correctly follows all anti-doping procedures.

"We work closely with relevant national anti-doping authorities in the countries where we organise our matches.

"All swimmers competing at ISL matches are subject to in-competition testing according to already established doping control rules.

"All swimmers must provide their consent to be tested during ISL matches, otherwise they will not be allowed to compete.”

The ISL championship finale will be held at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Images show ISL competition including teams arriving at the first event in Indianapolis (below).

Related Articles

10th December 2019 - World Anti-Doping Agency bans Russia from Tokyo Olympics and 2022 FIFA World Cup

6th December 2019 - DFSNZ calls on sport and to stand strong for clean athletes

19th November 2019 - Drug Free Sport NZ holds successful first anti-doping conference

18th September 2019 - International Swimming League releases ticketing and technical information

27th August 2019 - Eurosport makes two-year broadcast commitment to new International Swimming League

9th August 2019 - Poll shows multichannel marketing now ‘essential’ for sport brands

29th July 2019 - Swimming Australia scrutinised over handling of Shayna Jack doping result

23rd July 2019 - Mack Horton and Swimming Australia face official rebuke over ‘drug cheat’ protest

18th June 2019 - New International League set to transform elite swimming

7th May 2019 - Rival competitions a threat to established sporting leagues

10th February 2019 - Tokyo 2020 organisers highlight measures being taken to prevent repeat of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games cyber attack

15th January 2019 - Swimming Australia launches app to connect recreational swimmers

22nd August 2018 - ASADA Chief Executive David Sharpe says integrity reforms can end doping conflicts

15th May 2018 - Questions over Gold Coast’s KDV Sports facility as Russian owner faces shopping mall fire probe

4th February 2018 - IOC ‘disappointed’ by CAS decision to lift Olympic life bans on Russian athletes

5th December 2017 - State-sponsored doping program sees Russia banned from PyeongChang Winter Olympics

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