IAAF to look into 2014 world in­doors for Rus­sian dop­ing

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The IAAF may re­an­a­lyze Rus­sian sam­ples from the 2014 world in­door track cham­pi­onships over suspicions that ath­letes who failed dop­ing tests were al­lowed to com­pete.

Mes­sages be­tween then-Moscow lab­o­ra­tory di­rec­tor Grig­ory Rod­chenkov and Sports Min­istry of­fi­cial Alexei Ve­likodny, re­leased on Fri­day as part of World Anti-Dop­ing Agency in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren’s re­port into Rus­sian dop­ing, show eight ath­letes gave sus­pi­cious sam­ples the week be­fore they were to travel to the com­pe­ti­tion in Sopot, Poland.

The sam­ples col­lected at the na­tional train­ing base near Moscow in­cluded three with un­usu­ally high testos­terone lev­els, four con­tain­ing the an­abolic agent os­tarine, and one con­tain­ing both os­tarine and the banned steroid turin­abol.

All were given “save” or­ders by Ve­likodny - the com­mand which meant a sus­pi­cious sam­ple should be recorded as clean. Rod­chenkov, how­ever, re­sponded that some cases would have to be re­ported pos­i­tive.

Rod­chenkov asked for one sam­ple with a “big” os­tarine reading to be given a “quar­an­tine” or­der, typ­i­cally mean­ing it would be treated as a usual dis­ci­plinary case, though whether that hap­pened is not doc­u­mented else­where in the McLaren re­port files.

The fate of an­other case with a large os­tarine reading is un­clear, though the de­tails given ap­pear to match with Svet­lana Biryukova, a long jumper who was re­moved from the team shortly be­fore the cham­pi­onships and later banned for two years. Biryukova was the fa­vorite for gold in the long jump and had set the best in­door re­sult of the year. The iden­ti­ties of the re­main­ing six given “save” or­ders are un­clear, but the events listed for them in­clude some in which Rus­sia won medals in Sopot. It is not clear whether any ever faced dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

“We are go­ing through the names we have been given by Prof. McLaren’s team and where we have sam­ples from the rel­e­vant pe­riod we will re­an­a­lyze,” the IAAF said Tues­day in an emailed state­ment. Rus­sian of­fi­cials have not dis­puted the au­then­tic­ity of the emails in the McLaren re­port. Nei­ther Rod­chenkov nor Ve­likodny could be reached for com­ment. Rus­sia sent a strong team to the 2014 world in­doors, win­ning three gold and two sil­ver medals to place sec­ond be­hind the United States in the medals ta­ble. The IAAF banned Rus­sia from all in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber 2015 af­ter an ear­lier WADA-com­mis­sioned re­port into the Rus­sian track team al­leged wide­spread drug use and ex­tor­tion. That ban re­mains in ef­fect and led to Rus­sia be­ing able to field only one track ath­lete at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

How­ever, in re­cent months, Rus­sian track of­fi­cials have said the coun­try could send com­peti­tors to the Euro­pean in­door cham­pi­onships in Bel­grade in March if they ap­ply to the IAAF as in­di­vid­u­als rather than as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the sus­pended fed­er­a­tion.

“As to com­pet­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally, the IAAF task­force was very clear in its last re­port that Rus­sia still has not met the cri­te­ria es­tab­lished for their read­mis­sion to mem­ber­ship of the IAAF,” the IAAF said yes­ter­day. “There is an ex­ist­ing process whereby ath­letes can ap­ply ... to par­tic­i­pate in­ter­na­tion­ally as in­de­pen­dent neu­tral ath­letes.” — AP

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