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Report: Lebedev Out for Rio (Updated)

Viktor Lebedev - Russia

UPDATE: Officials from Yakutia continue to insist that Lebedev will be in Rio, while media in other parts of the country are certain Aleksandr Bogomoev will be the Russian representative.  Other sources report that Russia will not have a representative at all, but it is not clear if they simply won’t name one or if they will not be allowed to replace Lebedev.  If Lebedev is excluded, expect him to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).  In other words, stay tuned.

UPDATE 2: UWW is now reporting that Yadav will be replaced by another wrestler from India since the failed test took place outside of the Olympic qualifying event.  This suggests that Russia will be able to replace Lebedev.

49 North Wrestling reports that Viktor Lebedev was sanctioned as a Junior for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Because part of the IOC’s ruling yesterday was that no athlete who had ever been sanctioned for drugs would be allowed to take part in Rio, Lebedev is out. The report cites Aleksandr Bogomoev, Dzahamal Otarsultanov and Ghadzi Rashidov as possible replacements.

However, it has been reported elsewhere that India will not be allowed to replace Narsingh Yadav, who failed a doping test recently, on their Olympic roster. Apparently an injury replacement would be allowed, but not a replacement due to a doping suspension. Russia’s case is a bit different as the extra criteria put upon them by the IOC have pushed them outside of the norm, but the argument could be made that no replacement should be allowed for Lebedev.

That said, there would be some justice in seeing Bogomoev, in particular, head to Rio. He was one of the wrestlers caught up in the officiating scandal that enveloped Russian Nationals this year. While Ismail Musukaev, he was the one who wrestled Lebedev in the match that kicked off all the controversy and led to Dagestani boycotts of the tournament, does not appear to be in consideration, Bogomoev was awarded a gold medal alongside Lebdev after their final match was also dubiously officiated.

Expect legal maneuvers from the Lebedev camp and Russia in the coming days to try to overcome this additional hurdle. The rule seems clear cut and suggests that Lebedev would be out, but under these extraordinary circumstances, it would be shocking to see anyone accept their ban without lawyers getting involved. In the end, Bogomoev would be a fitting representative from Russia, but this situation isn’t settled yet.

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