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Victor Lebedev ruled ineligible by UWW; Russia loses quota spot

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The governing body for Olympic wrestling has cleared 16 of the 17 Russian wrestlers who were set to compete in Rio.


The lone Russian who didn't receive clearance is Victor Lebedev, a two-time world champion who was at the center of a controversy surrounding the officiating at this year's Russian Nationals. Because Lebedev had a positive drug test at the 2006 Junior World Championships, he did not meet the criteria set forth by the IOC for participation.


Lebedev's inclusion on the Russian team was controversial in itself. He was named co-champion of his weight class at the Russian Nationals, an event that typically determines the members of the Olympic team. But two of his victories were aided by what many perceived as biased officiating in his favor. After the tournament, Lebedev said that he would withdraw his name from consideration but ultimately changed his mind and was named to the Olympic team earlier this month.


Russia won't be allowed to replace Lebedev, who was slated to compete in the 57kg (125.5 lbs) freestyle division. The quota spot has instead been transferred to Belarus based on results from the 2015 World Championships.




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