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Russia's Zhukov welcomes reported decision on two swimmers

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) chief Alexander Zhukov on Tuesday welcomed that swim team members Nikita Lobintsev and Vladimir Morozov have reportedly been allowed to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

"It is a very good decision, they deserve to swim," Zhukov told reporters during a break at the session of the International Olympic Committee.

Lobintsev and Morozov were mentioned in a report by Canadian investigator Richard McLaren on widespread and state-sponsored doping in Russia.

The ruling swim body FIFA said it would ban them from the Olympics but the case was brought to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which conducted a hearing Sunday.

Citing a Russian lawyer, Russian state news agency Tass reported Tuesday that the two have been cleared to swim by FINA although neither CAS nor FINA have so far confirmed this. In order to compete they must also be given the nod by the International Olympic Committee.

"They were named in the McLaren report but there was no reason for them not to be allowed to swim," Zhukov said.

Asked whether this case could be a precedent allowing other banned Russians into the Rio Games which open Friday, Zhukov said: "That‘s a question for CAS."

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