Sport: Vanuatu Volleyballers hoping for Rio callup
Vanuatu's Olympic beach volleyball team is fighting for a spot in Rio after an Italian player failed a drugs test.
Vanuatu is hopeful of a late Olympic reprieve after reports an Italian beach volleyball player has tested positive for doping.
Viktoria Orsi Toth is understood to have failed a drugs test and been sent home from Rio de Janiero.
Toth and playing partner Marta Menegatti finished eighth in the FIVB World Tour rankings earlier this year to qualify automatically for Rio, with Vanuatu's Linline Matauatu and Miller Pata finishing just outside the top 15 cutoff.
The President of Vanuatu Volleyball, Debbie Masauvakalo told Vinnie Wylie the Italian team should be banned and Vanuatu promoted to the main draw.
DEBBIE MASAUVAKALO: Nothing official has come through from the FIVB but we've found out that one of the Italian players has a positive doping result and that unofficially from media reports that she has been sent home so we're trying to find out from the FIVB - we're aware that they had meetings yesterday. We have contacted the FIVB and yet to have a reply from them...we're the 16th ranked team so if the Italian team is disqualified from the Rio Olympic Games then under the regulations then the next team to qualify under the top 15 would be us.
VINNIE WYLIE: I guess what complicates the matter is if one of their player has tested positive they would look to replace her but they don't actually have someone that qualifies?
DM: To qualify through the top 15 you had to play in 12 Olympic qualification events. There has been a name floating around that they want to replace her with but that player is not eligible under the Olympic qualification document the FIVB brought out. We think that the whole Italian team should be disqualified because they qualfied for the Rio Olympic Games under the influence of doping and we're aware that the IOC takes doping very seriously, given the current situation with the Russian athletes, so we don't see any difference here because they qualified under the influence of doping for the Rio Olympic Games which is an unfair advantage for all the other teams that are clean in the sport.
VW: Obviously Vanuatu is part of Oceania Volleyball so you have got people on the ground over there trying to advocate on your behalf?
DM: Yes, we have the President of the Oceania Volleyball Association, who is also the President of Volleyball Australia, Craig Carter, so he's fighting hard to find a positive answer there so very grateful for him and we also have other executive board members from Oceania Volleyball in Rio and we also have our Chef de Mission from Vanuatu, so we have delegations there but nobody seems to be getting an answer from the FIVB so we're wondering what's going on.
VW: Obviously time is of the essence because we're not very far away from the opening pool matches are we?
DM: We would need to leave today/tomorrow. It is in the FIVB Olympic regulations that they can change the schedule slightly so they could possibly change the match times for Vanuatu so if we were to arrive a little bit later it's in the regulations that they can change but we just look forward to a positive reply from the FIVB.
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