Russian swimmers Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev appeal against ban

Russia's Olympic team members go through check-in before national team's departure to Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Sheremetyevo Airport outside Moscow

The Russian swimmers Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev have lodged appeals against their bans from the Rio Olympic Games with the court of arbitration for sport.

Their move comes as the International Olympic Committee announced last night that a three-member IOC panel will have the final say on which Russian athletes can compete at the Rio Games, reviewing all decisions taken by the international federations.

Cas has set up a base in Rio for the Games, and Morozov and Lobintsev have become the first athletes to bring cases there.

Last Monday, swimming’s world governing body Fina banned both swimmers, along with their Russian compatriot Daria Ustinova, because their names appeared in Richard McLaren’s damning report into state‑directed doping in Russia.

Four more swimmers were withdrawn from the team by the Russian Olympic Committee as they had previously served doping bans, after the International Olympic Committee ruled that any Russians with past such offences would be barred from competing.

Cas said in a statement: “The ad hoc division of the court of arbitration for sport at the Rio Games has registered its first procedures. The Russian swimmers Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev have each filed a request for arbitration against the International Olympic Committee and the International Swimming Federation (Fina).”

It said the pair had asked Cas to rule as “invalid and unenforceable” the key section of the IOC executive board’s ruling that specified nobody implicated in the McLaren report should be accepted for entry into the Olympics. The statement added: “The swimmers also request that the decision of the Fina bureau of 25 July 2016, declaring both of them ineligible for the Olympic Games in Rio, be set aside. Furthermore, they request that the IOC validates the entries submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee for them to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio.”

Morozov, 24, is a freestyle and backstroke specialist who has spent several years living in the US, training and competing for the University of South Carolina. Lobintsev is a 27-year-old freestyle swimmer who has acknowledged using the medication meldonium, which is often used to treat heart issues, but only before it was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list at the start of this year.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Guardian sport, for The Observer on Sunday 31st July 2016 01.07 Europe/London

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