Bye, See You After The Weekend: In Doping Darkness, Russia World Cup Merits No Light

Yuliya Efimova waved goodbye to racing for just over a year when after testing positive … and that would not be the end of it - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Editorial: The third round of the World Cup will take place this weekend in Moscow. SwimVortex will look away. With respect to those swimmers who have opted into the ailing FINA cup tour, the state of the cup is not the reason we will not be tuning in. We make a stand for a different reason: beyond the fact that there is an IOC/WADA ban in place on Russia holding international events, the Russian Swimming Federation and its president and FINA Bureau member, Vladimir Salnikov, have failed to answer pressing questions on anti-doping issues that cut to the very heart of the booing and jeering we heard and witnessed in Rio at the Olympic Games last month – issues that cut to the heart of the doping crisis in Russian sport

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Craig, I applaud your stance on not reporting on the Moscow leg of the “World” Cup. Its disappointing to see USA, GB,France,Oz and other swimmers supporting this leg. With no evidence of any substantial action taken to address the issues detailed in the Maclaren Report report, we can only assume that its business as usual in Russia and Russian athletes could have any positive doping tests suppressed.

Are the doping tests for this meet still being processed at the previous WADA discredited Moscow lab?

IMO clean athletes are putting themselves at risk because the easiest way for Russia to draw attention away from the pre Rio doping crisis would be to manufacture a few positive tests for athletes from a few “clean” countries

clive rushton

Bonn and Paris. Those were indeed the days. Some of the best racing ever. World Cups these days are best described as mundane.

You are right: nobody cares.


Interesting stance really. I do care. I enjoy the commentary on the swims that are great, and, there have been a few of those already.

The entries have been disappointing, no doubt, but this is what happens after an Olympics. The swimmers who use this as a form of income are there, they make the money, they also produce World Class performances while doing so. Good for them.

It is a “world cup” by virtue that the competition takes place around the world.

I do feel sorry for the sponsors though. It is a pity that a competition which, in the past, has generated much interest and spectators, has fallen by the way side this year.

As for hosting in Russia, it seems like a bit of a slap in the face, however, it is what it is. Two of my favourite swimmers are competing, and my favourite swimming site is not reporting…

Craig Lord

Yes, that is what it is, flyguy; and this is where swimming is; where we find ourselves. We cannot support this any more. If the sport does not sort these major issues out, this site will not be here. It simply would no longer be worth the effort we go to. The sport is at a watershed. I heard from four very good writers in Rio, writers for major world publications who have dedicated some serious time and years covering swimming, that from 2017 they are moving on, swimming no longer a place they feel merits their energies. There is a certain weariness with all things FINA that is doing serious damage to swimming. That’s tragic – and it really need not be.


What a pity that is. Truly. There are some travesties involving our beloved sport, but there are certainly some wonderful things worth writing about.

Your view on doping has certainly resonated through the swimming world, and I applaud your efforts.

The results in Moscow may be skewed, tainted, and one sided and I can see where you are coming from by not reporting it, but I must also add, that your comment on such events do not fall on deaf ears. Perhaps reporting on such an event may be very well what the sport needs.

Regardless, thanks for your reporting on the last two legs, as trivial as they may have been

clive rushton

Craig, I told you face-to-face personally, that without your, crusade he battle against the shiny suits would have been lost. The same thing is now at stake but even more so. Do not back down. I know you wont’t but it is vital that you stick to you guns and continue your attack on the nonsense that is the current situation of out sport

Craig Lord

Thanks for your note & thoughts, Flyguy

Craig Lord

Thanks for the encouraging note, Clive. We’re not quite at the turning point yet – but it is indeed coming…

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