4th October 2018

AIU confirms investigation into Kseniya Savina

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has launched an investigation into Russian middle distance runner Kseniya Savina, after evidence emerged alleging that she had competed in international competitions using a friend’s Ukrainian passport. ‘Ksenia Savina is currently under investigation and we are unable to comment further at this stage’, wrote an AIU spokesperson in an email.

As the AIU reply illustrates, Russian cyrillic script names do not always neatly translate into English. Kseniya Savina (Ксения Савина) is alleged to have used the Ukrainian passport of her friend, Galina Syshko (Галина Сышко), to compete overseas eleven times in three years – including in meetings held in Belgium and The Netherlands. 

IAAF records for a Halyna Sishko…

Savina is an 800m runner, and IAAF records for a Halyna Sishko show (see right), she shaved 13 seconds off her 800m personal best at a tournament in Belgium during 2016, having not competed since 2011 (credit to Hilary Evans @OlympicStatman for spotting this). In November 2015, the IAAF suspended the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) due to allegations of systematic doping outlined by the first report of an Independent Commission appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). As a result of this, Russian athletes were prohibited from taking part in international competitions. The suspension remains in force today.

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