16th August 2017

RUSADA outlines testing plan & confirms bans on six athletes

Tatiana Chirkina, the acting Director General of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), has told journalists that UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has approved its testing plan up until 2018, reports Russian State news agency TASS. In June, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) allowed RUSADA to resume testing within Russia under the guidance of UKAD and two international experts. These are Australian criminal investigations expert and former member of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) Peter Nicholson and Ieva Lukosiute-Stanikuniene, Director of the Lithuanian anti-doping agency.

As outlined in its Roadmap To Compliance, WADA is ‘tentatively scheduled’ to audit RUSADA next month, with a decision on whether it can be declared as compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code outlined for November. However, as reported earlier this week, WADA has not been able to access blood or urine samples stored at the Moscow laboratory since it was suspended on 10 November 2015, due to an ongoing investigation by the Investigative Commission of the Russian Federation (SKR). WADA has told the Russian government that it must allow access to the samples before RUSADA can be reaccredited.

However, it appears that the SKR have removed the samples from the laboratory. Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s former Minister of Sport, told R-Sport that the SKR will return the samples to the laboratory upon completion of its investigation. When that will happen is also unclear. Vitaly Smirnov, who heads the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission (IPADC), told R-Sport that the IPADC “cannot speed up the process”.

Another condition is for RUSADA, the Russian Ministry of Sport and the Russian Olympic Committee to ‘publicly accept’ the conclusions of the Independent Person (IP) Reports produced for WADA by Richard McLaren. However on 3 August, Smirnov told R-Sport that Russia will not “unconditionally accept” the conclusions of McLaren’s two reports. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reportedly backs Smirnov’s position. “Concerning the different reports about this, there are some elements with which Moscow does not agree”, he told Reuters.

Six athletes sanctioned

RUSADA today confirmed sanctions issued to five athletes by the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) and one issued by the Russian Weightlifting Federation (RWF). The heaviest sanction was the eight-year ban issued to Anastasia Vorobyova by the RWF, which will run from 25 July this year. No further information was available from the RWF’s internet site about why the imposed ban was so lengthly.

RUSADA also confirmed that RusAF had issued a four-year ban to Ekaterina Doseikina, who represented Russia in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing. In April this year, RUSADA confirmed that RusAF had sanctioned Doseikina with a two-year ban. As both bans run from the same date (1 December 2016), it would appear that the initial ban has been scaled up to four years, although RUSADA did not explain the increase in sanction length. Earlier this month, InsideTheGames reported that Doseikina was sanctioned for avoiding out of competition (OOC) tests.

Ivan Khudyakov, a 400m runner, was also sanctioned with a four-year ban; medium distance runner Irina Sergeeva was sanctioned with a two and a half year ban; 3,000m steeplechase runner Lyubov Kharlamova was sanctioned with a two year ban; and race walker Zilya Garipova was sanctioned with a one year ban. Significantly, Kharlamova’s results from 27 July 2010 have been annulled, meaning that she will lose the silver medal she took in the 3,000m steeplechase at the IAAF European Championships in Barcelona, which took place that year.

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