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Gutu loses bid to swim for Moldova at Olympics

Aug. 09, 2008, 12:47 p.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Swimmer Octavian Gutu will not compete for Moldova at the Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed his case on Saturday.

CAS rejected the application filed by the Moldovan National Olympic Committee against the IOC, ruling that Gutu was ineligible to compete for Moldova because governing body FINA didn't approve his nationality switch. Gutu swam for Romania at the 2007 world championships at Melbourne, Australia, where he failed to qualify for the 50- and 100-meter freestyle final.

A swimmer can change nationalities if they receive the approval of both national Olympic committees in question and FINA. In this case, both committees agreed to Gutu's switch but not FINA, which meant the International Olympic Committee couldn't allow him to swim at the Beijing Games.

The IOC's Olympic charter says a nationality swap is also possible if three years have elapsed since the athlete last represented their former country.

Gutu only made the 100 heats at the 2004 Athens Olympics.