News 30th March 2020

Four Russians appeal AIU doping charges to CAS

The AIU outlines that the cases are pending CAS appeals…

Four Russians issued with doping charges by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). All of the charges are based on evidence in Richard McLaren’s two Independent Person (IP) Reports for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

The first athlete is 400m specialist Natalya Antyukh (Ната́лья Антю́х), who won a number of Gold medals, the most recent being the 400m at the London 2012 Olympics. Antyukh has already lost a 4x400m medal from London 2012, after reanalysis of the sample of a teammate, Antonina Krivoshapka (Антонина Кривошапка), resulted in an adverse analytical finding for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (turinabol). Krivoshapka was later sanctioned with a two year ban by the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), expiring on 6 September 2018. 

A second athlete is Andrey Silnov (Андрей Сильнов), who won Gold in the high jump at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and Silver at the Istanbul 2012 IAAF World Indoors. In June last year, Silnov resigned as Vice President of RusAF, confirming that he was being investigated by the AIU for a doping offence. 

“There are no facts there [in the McLaren Report], just assertions, and we’re gradually proving that it’s not a state structure, a system”, said Silnov in 2017. In 2014, Silnov was elected a member of Legislative Assembly of Russia’s Rostov region, although it is understood he is no longer a member. 

Both Krivoshapka and Antyukh were among 18 Russians refused permission to compete internationally as an Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) by World Athletics in September last year, after RusAF processed applications for them to compete. It is understood that Krivoshapka was refused permission because of her involvement with the London 2012 4x400m team, and Antyukh for having worked with a banned coach.

RusAF remains suspended by World Athletics, meaning athletes cannot represent Russia in international competitions. Russian athletes can compete internationally as ANAs, apart from in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics or ‘other specified World Athletics and European Athletics’ events, if they can demonstrate:

• That they were not implicated or affected by Russian State doping;
• That they are a member of a Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and have been subject to adequate testing for the previous 12 months.

The IAAF’s Eligibility Rule 22.1A governs applications to compete as ANAs from athletes whose national federations have been suspended by the IAAF. Click here to download the IAAF’s Eligibility Rules. In December 2018, the IAAF updated its Guidance Note for athletes seeking to compete internationally as ANAs. Click here to download the Guidance Note, and click here to download an Application Form to compete as an ANA.

A third athlete charged by World Athletics is Oksana Kondratyeva (Оксана Кондратьева), who won Silver in the Hammer Throw at the Kazan 2013 Summer Universiade. The fourth athlete is Yelena Soboleva (Елена Соболева), who has been charged with use of a prohibited substance or method, after her sample from the Osaka 2007 World Athletics Championships was retested based on the evidence within the McLaren Reports. 

In October 2008, Soboleva and six other Russian female athletes were sanctioned for manipulating the doping control process by substituting their urine samples. The other athletes were Tatyana Tomashova (Татьяна Томашова), Yuliya Fomenko (Юлия Фоменко), Svetlana Cherkasova (Светлана Черкасова), Darya Pishchalnikova (Дарья Пищальникова), Gulfia Khanafeyeva (Гульфия Ханафеева), and Olga Yegorova (Ольга Егорова).

RusAF initially disqualified the seven athletes for two years from the date of sample collection. However, the CAS upheld an appeal from World Athletics which argued that sanctions should begin from the date of their provisional suspension.

Some of the seven have history of prior or subsequent involvement with doping. Pishchalnikova wrote to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA in December 2012 (PDF below) outlining how Valentin Balakhnichev, then RusAF’s President, colluded with Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, Director of the Moscow Laboratory, to cover up AAFs in return for money. In 2013, she was sanctioned with a ten year ban for a second doping offence, after returning an AAF for oxandrolone.

Yegorova returned an AAF for erythropoietin (EPO) at a Paris Golden League event in 2001, however it is understood that a two year suspension was rescinded due to violations of the test procedure. Khanafeyeva was disqualified from the London 2012 Olympics after a sample returned an AAF for dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (turinabol). She was later sanctioned with an eight year ban. 

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