Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) has warned the 19 Russian athletes implicated in the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) retests of samples taken at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games to return 23 medals (including 11 belonging to members of relay teams). ‘RusAF reminds athletes found guilty of violating the anti-doping rules of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and London are obliged to return the medals by the traditional ritual – the Olympic Oath to respect and abide by the rules of the IOC – which they gave at the opening of the Olympic Games’, read a RusAF statement. ‘Disregarding the rules of the Olympic Charter and the IOC’s rules by failing to return the medals has a negative impact on our recovery process and the restoration of RusAF’s membership for our athletes to take part in international competitions’.
RusAF’s also outlined that only one athlete implicated through the IOC retests has returned an Olympic medal, and that athlete was not directly implicated, as he was a member of a relay team. ‘To date, only Anton Kokorin (member of the men’s 4x400m relay team at the Beijing 2008 Olympics) has complied with this requirement’, continued the statement. ‘It is worth noting that he, Anton, did not violate anti-doping rules but was a member of a relay team comprised of Denis Alexeev, whose test result is positive’. RusAF said that Kokorin had returned his medal in December last year.
Earlier this month, an IOC spokesperson told The Sports Integrity Initiative that Russian athletes implicated in the IOC retests had returned a number of medals. “We have already received back a number of medals and are in contact with Russian Olympic Committee”, said the spokesperson.