Rio 2016 Olympics - Vanuatu says beach volleyball is no longer a clean sport after their bid to have the Italian team kicked out of the Rio Olympics for failing a drugs test was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Italy's Viktoria Orsi Toth was to have partnered Marta Menegatti in the women's competition but was sent home from the Rio Games after failing a drugs test on July the 19th.
Vanuatu missed out a place in the main draw by one ranking position and would have replaced the Italians in Brazil in the Court had ruled in their favour.
The President of Vanuatu Volleyball, Debbie Masauvakalo said the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they did not adequately prove their case.
"They're saying that she was tested outside the qualification period but who's to know that she was not using the drugs or how long had the drugs been in her system during the qualification period. Now they said that we didn't have enough evidence - and we didn't really have much time - to prove that she was using drugs during the qualification period. I just think the best thing that has come out of this is beach volleyball is not a clean sport anymore and sometimes the big guys win and the little guys just get squashed."
Laura Giombini has been called up as a replacement for Toth in time for Italy's opening pool match against Canada on Monday afternoon local time, after the national federation initially tried to replace with a player, Rebecca Perry, who had not featured in the required 12 World Tour events.
"They were able to replace the player under the athlete emergency replacement IOC policy. They said it was under the medical case to case situation. We argued that because we don't think doping comes under medical but unfortunately we didn't have enough evidence to prove that and we lost the case," said Debbie Masauvakalo.
"We just think that she was found caught doping and the team should be disqualified but now it seems that Italy has been given a second chance."
Debbie Masauvakalo said that while they disagree with the ruling the do accept it and will be cheering from afar for the Australian team representing Oceania.
She said they are thankful for the support of Oceania & Australia Volleyball President Craig Carracher, who battled hard for their cause and helped them to file the legal papers, and Vanuatu's Chef de Mission in Rio, Allan Kalfabun.