It was April 20 this year, just in time for the Russian nationals and Olympic trials, when Vitaly Melnikov returned to seek national-team selection after having served a doping suspension of two years for EPO, the blood booster. Now, he’s effectively gone for life: an eight-year ban has been imposed on the latest Russian doping case. That makes the Russian case file of woe second to none in world swimming – and fit for third place on the all-time ranking of rogue nations in the pool after the GDR and China.
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