Russia dismisses new doping claims
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.