Wrestling Works to Validate Russian Athletes
Wrestling's international federation is working to validate the eligibility of the Russian wrestlers who've qualified for the Rio Olympics.
United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic announced the newly implemented process on Monday. He also noted that the World-Anti Doping Agency has already tested each Russian wrestler at accredited laboratories — with some of those athletes having passed as many as four tests.
Lalovic said that the UWW recently clarified to the International Olympic Committee that the Russian labs implicated in the McLaren Report are not part of its testing protocol. He added that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency tested 108 wrestlers from 38 countries during last year's world championships in Las Vegas and didn't find a single doping violation.
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Still, the UWW has requested more information and evidence about the wrestlers said to be implicated in "disappearing positive tests."
Russia is arguably the world's top wrestling nation, earning 11 medals in 18 weight classes at the 2012 London Games. The Russians are expected to field another strong team in Rio, led by two-time world champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev.
One member of the previously announced team who appears unlikely to be there is two-time world champion Victor Lebedev, who competes in the 57kg (125.5 lbs) freestyle division. The head of the Russian Wrestling Federation told the R-Sport agency that Lebedev is ineligible because he was given a doping ban in 2006.