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FINA alarm at swim 'drug test exemptions'

dpadpa 17/06/2016

Swimming's world body is alarmed over reports alleging Russian doping officials had offered to exempt swimmers from drug tests.

Swimming's world governing body FINA says it is taking very seriously media reports alleging Russian doping officials had offered to exempt swimmers from drug tests in return for an annual fee.

"These are very serious allegations and we urge anyone with relevant evidence to bring it forward to FINA so that we can share with all appropriate authorities and take immediate disciplinary action if required," FINA said on Friday in a statement.

FINA issued the statement following reports in The Times and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Friday alleging that two Russian doping officials had offered the Russian Swimming Federation to not ask its swimmers to provide test samples ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

The reports said Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, and Nikita Kamaev, the late executive director of Russia's national anti-doping agency RUSADA, had offered their services for an annual fee of 3 million rubles ($A103,650) at the time.

The Times and FAZ continued, writing that Rodchenkov and Kamaev met Russian Swimming Federation officials at least twice for several hours in 2011 to work out a deal.

"After two hours, they got to the point: they would remove two or three key swimmers from the anti-doping pool in return for three million rubles a year," the reports quoted an unnamed source as saying regarding a meeting in October 2011.

"FINA is monitoring all developments in the world's fight against cheating and doping in sport and is taking decisive action to protect the majority of our athletes who are clean," the world body added.

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