Athletics Russia moves to deal with doping offenders
Stricter rules which will deny and revoke licenses to coaches found to have committed anti-doping offences are set to be installed by the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) in January as part of the organisation’s bid for reinstatement.
The regulations, due to come into force on January 1, will prevent any coach who has an outstanding conviction for breaking anti-doping rules, or those who have breached their ban within a year of their suspension being announced, from working at the RusAF.
Coaches can also be denied a licence by the body, which remains suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), if more than one athlete under their supervision records an anti-doping rule violation in the two years leading up to the application for a licence.
The move comes after athletics coaches in Russia were found to have continued their roles despite being banned for doping offences.
It was one of the reasons why the IAAF maintained its ban on the RusAF for the 11th time at its Council meeting in June.
“Since the moment of dismissal, the Federation has systematically tightened the rules for licensing coaches,” RusAF President Dmitry Shlyakhtin said.
“For us, this is a fundamental point.
“Anyone violating anti-doping rules should be prevented from working in Russian athletics.
“The coaches who violate the rules will be denied a license, or it will be revoked.”
Last month, Coach Vladimir Kazarin admitted breaching his lifetime ban and confirmed he had continued working with athletes after he was suspended in 2017.
Kazarin – who once coached Maria Savinova, winner of the Olympic gold medal in the 800 metres at London 2012 before she was stripped of her title because of doping, and athlete-turned-whistleblower Yulia Stepanova – had attempted to avoid detection by wearing disguises.
His attempts failed, however, after he was caught working with athletes at a camp in Kyrgyzstan. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) began an investigation into the camp, where as many as seven athletes were suspected of working with Kazarin, in June. –Insidethegames