Vladimir Salnikov: “We will not take passengers to Rio”

Vladimir Salnikov, President of the Russian Swimming Federation, answered journalists’ questions. Four-time Olympic champion met with the media at the ROC Innovation Center today. This meeting was also attended by the Head of the Russian Swimming Federation anti-doping programme Valery Barchukov.

(about the final stage of the preparation of the swimming team of for the Games in Rio)

– Head coach of the Russian national swimming team Sergey Kolmogorov scheduled two get-togethers before the Olympic Games, – said Vladimir Salnikov. – One of them will take place in Portugal and the second one will take place on the spot in Brazil. Now the first team is finishing its training on the island of Tenerife and will soon come to Tsaghkadzor, where it will train at altitude. The final get-together before the open championship of Russia will take place at the Round Lake national training camp. On the results of this get-together an Olympic team will be formed. Under the new regulations, at the national championships applicants for participation in the Olympic Games should show the result equal to at least twelfth result of the previous Games. And this season there will be no exceptions for juniors. We do not want to take passengers to Rio de Janeiro. We better take 30 or 40 athletes, but those who will manage to make it  into the semi-finals and beyond. I am sure we will not be left without medals.

(about the decisions of the FINA Bureau)

– Two days ago a meeting of the of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Bureau was held in Budapest. It was announced that, according to an independent British company, 6.5 billion people watched the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan. This is an absolute record! Thanks were once again expressed to the Organizing Committee for the excellent organization of the event. In addition it was announced that the next Aquatics World Championships   will be held in 2017 not in Guadalajara but in Budapest. FINA also announced that the Mexican swimming federation had been temporarily suspended for allegedly “not fulfilling contractual obligations” related to its decision to withdraw from hosting the 2017 championships. Therefore 2016 World Junior Diving and Synchronized Swimming Championships moved from Mexico to Kazan.

FINA Technical Committee formulated the requirements for men’s synchronized swimming suits. Similarly with swimmers’ suits they should not be above the waist and below the knees – continued Vladimir Salnikov. – While the  recommendation to wear wetsuits in open water has  not been accepted. At  the Olympic qualifying competitions for the Rio Games athletes will not be able to use such swimwear. And  after the Olympics we can expect that it will be allowed to wear wetsuits when the water temperature does not exceed 16-20 degrees. As for the Olympic swimming venues in Rio there’s no need to worry – the works are on schedule. By the way, the pool, where the swimming competitions will be held, will be equipped with special  solar panels to  protect athletes and coaches from direct sunlight.

(about the doping control)

According to Valery Barchukov, ‘Collection of Samples from our swimmers did not stop even during the well-known events at the end of last year. For example, in December we engaged specialists to work at ‘Vladimir Salnikov’s Cup’ in St. Petersburg. We have engaged specialists recommended by FINA. All Russian athletes, members of the Olympic pool, are under the control of the relevant anti-doping services. The Russian Swimming Federation will further ensure that our swimmers are regularly tested. I’d like to mention that the federation is working hard to inform athletes. This is more than just showing up.  We are doing it in order to analyze doping cases (there were sixteen since 2012) and they were mainly related to the lack of information, lack of anti-doping culture. So we are working hard with young people’.

(about the LEN governing body elections)

– Up to 6 February, all federations may nominate their candidates for president and vice-president of the European Swimming League (LEN). By the decision of the Russian Swimming Federation panel I was entrusted to stand for the Vice-Presidency of the LEN. Elections will be held in early May at the LEN Congress, which will be held in London just before the European Championship, – said Vladimir Salnikov.