Rus­sia dis­misses new dop­ing claims

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

MOSCOW — Rus­sian ath­let­ics is still vi­o­lat­ing the strict cri­te­ria laid out by the IAAF and Wada, leav­ing it at risk of not be­ing re­in­stated to in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion be­fore the Rio Olympics, claims a Ger­man doc­u­men­tary.

Rus­sian ath­letes face an up­hill bat­tle to be al­lowed to com­pete at the Rio Olympics from Au­gust 5-21 af­ter a World Anti-dop­ing Agency (Wada) in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion al­leged wide­spread cor­rup­tion and dop­ing in the coun­try’s ath­let­ics.

The In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF) pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended Rus­sia last Novem­ber.

The IAAF and Wada out­lined a strict re­in­state­ment cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing sev­er­ing ties with Rus­sian ath­let­ics of­fi­cials, of­fi­cers or staff with any past in­volve­ment in dop­ing.

The lead­er­ship of Rus­sian anti-dop­ing agency RUSADA — which Wada claimed pro­vided ad­vance no­tice to ath­letes about out-of-com­pe­ti­tion test­ing — re­signed en masse fol­low­ing a pledge by Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin to “do ev­ery­thing” to fight dop­ing.

Over four thou­sand Rus­sian ath­letes have been banned from in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion and sports au­thor­i­ties are launch­ing re­forms and mak­ing prom­ises to get the ban lifted in time for Rio.

But a 30-minute doc­u­men­tary by Ger­man broad­caster ARD/ WDR screened on Sun­day, gives new ev­i­dence of Rus­sian ath­letes and coaches vi­o­lat­ing the strict IAAF and Wada reg­u­la­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ger­man doc­u­men­tary, a sus­pended coach has been iden­ti­fied con­tin­u­ing to work with ath­letes in an iso­lated Rus­sian prov­ince, while an­other named trainer is still dis­tribut­ing dop­ing sub­stances.

The ARD/WDR team claim to have proof Rus­sian ath­letes were told when they would be drugs tested.

There is an au­dio con­ver­sa­tion, which is claimed to be be­tween Anna Antselovich, the new head of Rus­sia’s anti-dop­ing agency (RUSADA), and an ath­lete, who is be­ing warned when a drugs test would take place.

Antselovich re­placed ex-ruSADA boss Nikita Ka­mayev, who re­signed last year over the al­le­ga­tions and died sud­denly of a heart at­tack in Fe­bru­ary aged just 52.

There is also footage which ap­par­ently shows en­durance coach Vladimir Mokhnev con­tin­u­ing to train a group of top ath­letes in the far-flung prov­ince of Gubkin, cen­tral Rus­sia, de­spite be­ing sus­pended by the IAAF.

And the film-mak­ers claim to have ev­i­dence of a con­ver­sa­tion with an­other Rus­sian coach, who can pro­vide dop­ing sub­stances for a price.

An IAAF spokesman said the body’s in­spec­tion team, chaired by Nor­we­gian dop­ing ex­pert Rune An­der­son, will be look­ing into the ev­i­dence pro­vided.

“The IAAF thanks ARD for giv­ing the in­de­pen­dent chair Rune An­der­sen of the IAAF Task­force ad­vance ac­cess to video and au­dio record­ing ma­te­rial which is be­ing broad­cast in the ARD/WDR doc­u­men­taries,” he said.

“The Task­force will look care­fully into the mat­ters raised by the lat­est doc­u­men­taries, in­clud­ing dis­cussing them with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of RUSAF (Rus­sia’s Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion).”

A pre­vi­ous doc­u­men­tary by the ARD/WDR re­search team, screened last year, trig­gered the IAAF sus­pend­ing Rus­sia in­def­i­nitely from all in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions and the coun­try’s sports lead­er­ship vowed to clean up their sport.

— AFP

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