Russian Olympic Teamsters Veronika Andrusenko (nee Popova) and Alex Kudashev Suspended Pending Doping Inquiries – FINA Welcomes WADA Findings
Alexandr Kudashev and Veronika Andrusenko (nee Popova), members of the Russian squad due to compete under the flag of Olympic neutrality at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games from July 24, have been provisionally suspended for anti-doping violations cited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The cases stem from WADA’s examination of materials recovered from the former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, including the Laboratory Information Management System, as part of the global watchdog’s investigation into Russia’s systematic doping crisis.
Popova (later Andrusenko), a sprint-to-middle-distance freestyler, made 17 international podiums for Russia from global down to continental level between 2012 and 2017, mostly in relays. Kudashev established a lifetime best of 1:55.4 in the 200m butterfly at Russian Olympic trials in April and is currently ranked 15th in the world so far this year.
In stark contrast to the stance of FINA on doping when Cornel Marculescu was the director of FINA – and it took three processes before Chinese controversy Sun Yang* was suspended – new federation president Husain Al-Musallam thanked WADA and noted: “As a proud signatory of the WADA Code, we have followed up quickly and carefully to process the information supplied as a result of the work of WADA’s Investigations and Intelligence unit.”
FINA issued the following statement:
Two athletes entered to compete in the swimming competition of Tokyo 2020 have been provisionally suspended, following the assertion of anti-doping rule violations (ADRV’s), and a procedure is now on-going. The athletes are Alexandr Kudashev and Veronika Andrusenko
The ADRVs were asserted on the basis of evidence supplied by WADA, and stemming from WADA’s examination of materials recovered from the former Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, including the Laboratory Information Management System.
“FINA is grateful to WADA for its diligence in helping to ensure clean competition at Tokyo 2020,” said FINA president Husain Al-Musallam.
“As a proud signatory of the WADA Code, we have followed up quickly and carefully to process the information supplied as a result of the work of WADA’s Investigations and Intelligence unit. FINA remains fully committed to protecting clean athletes and promoting clean competition at Tokyo 2020, just as we do for all the events on our calendar.”Husain Al-Musallam
FINA’s out of competition testing and test distribution planning are handled by the International Testing Agency, which also handles the Tokyo 2020 anti-doping programme on behalf of the IOC. FINA is thankful for the ITA’s efforts which have ensured that, despite the circumstances of the pandemic, an effective volume and targeting of out-of-competition testing has been maintained in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.