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Olympic hopes end for NZ rowing foursome

NZN 27/07/2016

New Zealand won't field a men's four at the Rio Olympics rowing regatta after Russia confirmed they will compete in the event.

Rowing NZ said it received confirmation overnight that the Russian Rowing Federation will field a patched-up crew in the class after their team was slashed in size.

World rowing governing body FISA cleared just six Russian rowers to compete at Rio following analysis of the anti-doping record of their entire squad.

While 17 rowers and two coxswains who initially qualified were barred, they still had the numbers to form a four, including two original members of the boat still available.

It ruins the hopes of New Zealand crew comprising Anthony Allen, Patrick McInnes, Axel Dickinson and Drikus Conradie.

They have have been training on Lake Karapiro for the last month, next in line to compete at Rio if the Russians were ruled out of the class.

Four other Russian boats have been withdrawn from the Olympic regatta starting on August 6, with their places going to Italy (men's eight and lightweight men's double), Australia (women's eight) and Greece (lightweight men's four).

Another Kiwi boat, the men's quadruple sculls, won belated selection for Rio four weeks ago when a member of the Russian quad crew failed a drug test.

New Zealand will field an unprecedented 36 rowers at Rio, comprising 11 crews.

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