Russian Official: Tatiana Kashirina and Anastasia Romanova Out of Rio Olympics

In a move confirming what’s been suspected since earlier this week, Alexander Zhukov — Head of the Russian Olympic Committee — has confirmed weightlifters Tatiana Kashirina and Anastasia Romanova won’t be competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The announcement comes from a report by Russian news outlet

Both athletes were on the International Weightlifting Federation entry list published last week. But a new IOC ruling in the wake of Russian state-sponsored doping scandals seemed like it would stop their Olympic participation. Instead of a blanket ban for all Russian athletes, the IOC has imposed several country-specific rules for that country in 2016.

The stipulation that applies to Kashirina and Romanova? No Russian athlete who has ever been sanctioned for doping can compete in Rio, even if their suspension or other penalty has already been served.

Romanova was suspended from international competition between 2013 and 2015 after testing positive for the anabolic agent stanozolol. Romanova served her suspension and is the reigning World bronze medalist after placing third in the women’s 69kg category at the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships in Houston, Texas.

Kashirina won silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games and is a four-time World Champion, including 2015. She is also a six-time European Champion and holds the snatch, clean & jerk, and total World Records for her class, all of which were set at the 2014 World Weightlifting Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

She served a suspension for doping from 2008 to 2010.

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Kashirina’s exclusion is an especially large blow to Russian medal hopes, and she was considered a favorite for gold — perhaps by a large margin.

What do you think of the IOC’s ruling regarding Russian athletes? Did they get it right, or is the exclusion of athletes like Romanova and Kashirina off the mark? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.