Rowing NZ says Russian decision 'appalling'

Rowing New Zealand has slammed the decision by the rowing international federation FISA to send a Russian men's four crew to the Rio Olympics.

The New Zealand men's quadruple sculls crew could yet lose their Olympic reprieve. Source: Breakfast

Rowing NZ chief executive Simon Peterson said FISA had the opportunity to "stand up and be strong" but had let the NZ crew down "at the last minute".

"We're very frustrated and very disappointed. I think it's an appalling decision from our ruling body," he said.

Mr Peterson said Rowing NZ was taking "independent advice" on the decision.

"We don't think the application of the rule is fair," he said.

"We'll certainly be asking some tough questions about how we got to this point."

Two rowers from the Russian boat were banned over doping, but Russia was still allowed to form a crew comprising athletes who were judged to be clean.

If they passed up that chance, New Zealand's four of Anthony Allen, Patrick McInnes, Axel Dickinson and Drikus Conradie was in line to take their place.

However, Russia has decided to fill the boat, meaning the Kiwis miss out.

New Zealand Rowing received confirmation of the decision overnight.

The rowers have been training at Lake Karapiro for the past month in preparation for a possible call up.