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Banned Russian swimmer Lobintsev refuses to give up on Rio

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Banned swimmer Nikita Lobintsev is so confident of being able to compete at the Rio Olympics that he has been pictured wearing the official Russian Games uniform.

Lobintsev and fellow swimmer Vladimir Morozov became the first athletes on Saturday to take their cases to the ad-hoc Rio division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has been set up especially for the August 5-21 Games.

Lobintsev, 27, appeared on his Instagram account donning the official Russian Olympic uniform.

The pair were banned in the wake of the Russian state-run doping scandal after the International Olympic Committee ruled that any Russian previously convicted of doping or whose names appeared in a report into systematic drug use in the country should be barred.

"Both swimmers request CAS to declare the decision of the IOC Executive Board of 24 July 2016 invalid and unenforceable," a CAS statement said.

Lobintsev may point to a US Anti-Doping Agency release on Friday which absolves him of blame for testing positive in the US for controversial drug meldonium, which was only added to the banned list in January and caught out Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova.

"It was determined to have been ingested by him without fault or negligence pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Agency guidance concerning meldonium," USADA said.

"After a thorough review of the case, USADA concluded that the low meldonium concentration in the athlete‘s urine sample, combined with the athlete‘s explanation of use, was consistent with ingestion prior to the substance being officially prohibited on January 1, 2016."

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