20 June 2016

Analysis: RusAF to appeal IAAF suspension

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) is to appeal against the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Council decision not to lift its suspension, adding that it would use ‘all legal means’ to ensure that Russian athletes can compete in Rio. However, in the same statement, RusAF also announced that it would suspend Yuri Gordeev from coaching, three months after he was recorded arranging for delivery of performance-enhancing drugs to athletes during this year’s Russian Winter Championships.

‘Members of the Bureau decided to suspend Yuri Gordeev (Penza region) from coaching’, read the statement. ‘RusAF has already sent documents about a possible anti-doping rule violation to RUSADA’. RusAF acknowledged the allegations against Gordeev back in March and said that it would investigate. It would appear that despite the conclusive evidence in the ARD documentary (see video below), Gordeev has been allowed to continue coaching athletes in the interim.

RusAF thought that the allegations against Gordeev were serious enough to warrant his removal from their list of licensed coaches. In March, his name was still listed as a coach on RusAF’s internet site, however Gordeev was removed from RusAF’s site shortly after. A search for the Russian version of his name (Юрия Гордеева) today returns no results. Yet it appears that despite this, RusAF allowed him to continue coaching athletes – young athletes.

Gordeev’s official job was to coach young athletes at the School of Olympic Reserve in Penza (pictured). This means that he received his salary from the National Sport Promotion programme, which receives its money directly from the Kremlin. In other words, it is understood that he was government funded from the time of the March allegations until today.

Tomorrow, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will hold a specially-convened meeting to discuss countries whose national anti-doping organisation (NADO) been declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. There are a number of signatories whose rules are in progress, however Kenya and Russia are understood to be the only countries who are currently considered non-compliant.

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