Three Key Doping Experts Quit FINA Panel Because Leaders Ignored Advice On Russia

Yuliya Efimova, at the centre of the big stink in Rio last year - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Almost half of the independent anti-doping experts on FINA’s Doping Control Review Board have resigned amid claims their advice on how to deal with the Russian doping crisis was ignored before the Rio Olympics.

The move by the experts inflicts a damning and damaging wound to the FINA leadership on a weekend when the international swimming federation is co-hosting the World Cup with the Russian Swimming Federation in Moscow. This website has opted not to report the action from Moscow in protest at a complete lack of action on two missing EPO tests among Russian swimmers, among others issues.

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I’m glad that those with good conscience resigned.


It seems like Maglione is digging his own grave and this further exposition of FINA’s apathy can only hasten his demise. But corrupt political figures have a talent for wriggling out of the most unlikely of circumstances and I only hope that his end will come sooner rather than later but I doubt very much that he had a sleepless night.
A few swimmers voiced their disapproval during the Olympics but many have attended the Moscow leg of the World cup. Could national federations have instructed their athletes not to do so?


The sad reality is that post Oympics, the focus for most national federations is purely domestic.

Why so ? Firstly, to deal with the fall-out/post-mortems of what may have gone wrong. Even for those who were successful, the second issue remain pertinant; that of ensuring their share of the public funding pie for the next cycle. US, due to its unique situation of being completely divorced from public funding, is probably the only exception to this.

Wish it were otherwise but this is probably the “real politik” for most Olympic sports for the 12 months post any Games.

Craig Lord

Perhaps so, CW, but the vast majority did indeed stay away, the likes of Britain and most other leading swim nations represented by a token few. These are not national teams – and as per reply to Ger: not ‘many’. relatively speaking (the weakest entry ever for the world cup) and those who are there probably had plans in place long ago, long before what’s unfolded started to unfold.

Craig Lord

Ger: not ‘many’. relatively speaking (the weakest entry ever for the world cup) and those who are there probably had plans in place long ago, long before what’s unfolded started to unfold. Federations have been lame for a long time when it comes to making a stand in favour of doing the right thing.


Valid point, Craig; indeed I tend to concur with your view of the World Cup. However, I feel my “real politik” assessment of the current priorities of the majority of national federations will tend to be “on the money”.

Its going to require some major international catastrophe to divert their attention away from their own (or their federation’s) survival. Maybe such a catalyst WILL play out ….

Craig Lord

It’s on the way CW (though the death of a swimmer – and we really should have seen USA Swimming pressing the matter) might well have been regarded as a catastrophe – it was by me … and then FINA promoted the man in charge on the day (again, that such a thing was tolerated after two inquiry reports that left no doubt that the system of governance was a key part of the problem, intl and domestic, is regrettable to say the very least) … so, little faith in the federations doing the right thing until events force them to. ‘Catastrophic’ can, of course, take many forms … from revelation of a kind that can only lead to resignation or removal … or events taking a turn in the way they are being planned out there in the quiet of night… and history tells us that a series of catastrophes must take place before ’empires’ fall. No telling how this will happen – but I have little doubt that it will happen, sometime when.


Not disagreeing one iota on the merits; Craig. Just looking at the wider Olympic/international sporting picture in general rather than just swimming in isolation.

Certainly, there are a considerable number of advances that CAN/SHOULD be made by the various sports themselves but on many fronts; progress will be contingent on the potential fall-out of wider issues/restructures of major bodies of which WADA may be only one.

I’m not seeing too many quick fixes and I’m not too sure there are an abundant number of “white knights” around. Certainly, there are a great number of persons so deeply compromised that they must be removed but hard political reality is that “innocents abroad” cast into responsibility can, unconcsiously, be just as disastrous as the regimes they replace.

I see a very uncertain number of years ahead for international sport in general

Craig Lord

I don’t disagree with that CW. And yes, on what we know, the long haul is most likely. On what we don’t yet fully know or understand, if that makes sense, the jolt required to speed up processes (through further revelation and the response that may follow) is not a remote country, as I see it.

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