Women's eight handed Rio berth

Rowing's international governing body FISA has announced that 22 of 28 Russian rowers have been banned from competing in the Rio 2016, meaning Australia Women's Eight is now heading to the Games.

VIS athletes Fiona Albert, Charlotte Sutherland, Jessica Morrison, Lucy Stephan and Coxswain Sarah Banting are members of the Women's Eight rowing crew that has received a late call-up to the Australian Olympic team following the FISA decision to ban Russian rowers from competing at the Rio 2016 Games.

Rowing Australia welcomed the decision, saying swift action from FISA had safeguarded the high levels of integrity of the sport. Official statement below:

Rowing Australia welcomes the decision made by FISA (International Rowing Federation) this evening to award a qualification place for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to the Australian Women’s Eight, following the decision to rule the Russian crew ineligible.
Rob Scott, Chairman of Rowing Australia said that FISA’s swift response protects the integrity of Olympic rowing and its longstanding history of leadership in world anti-doping practices.
“We are thrilled that our Women’s Eight will be able to be nominated to the Olympic Team for Rio.  The decision, handed down by FISA today, is an incredible boost for Australian women’s sweep rowing and women’s rowing in general.  To have more women being given the opportunity to compete at the pinnacle level of their sport will provide the inspiration for others to follow in their footsteps.”
“RA has always been committed to clean and fair competition and we commend FISA on their strong action in response to the recent findings of the McLaren Report.”
RA has been in constant communication with FISA to promote the position of the Australian Women’s Eight and are delighted that the athletes have been given their opportunity to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee. Rowing Australia has communicated directly with the athletes this evening, and will now work with the Australian Olympic Committee to implement the logistical arrangements developed over the last week to ensure the support of the Women’s Eight in their final preparation and then travel to Rio. 
Crew members Fiona Albert and Sarah Banting will be available for media interviews at the VIS between 11am and 12pm today. 
No other athlete interviews will be granted outside of this time in lieu of the group needing to focus on their preparation.  Should you wish to request an interview please contact RA’s media contact who will coordinate this.

Katherine Ginbey
Phone: +61 437 400 459                                                      

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