22nd January 2018

RusAF investigates after arrival of doping testers prompts mass withdrawal

The Russian athletics federation (RusAF) has launched an investigation after over 30 athletes withdrew from a regional Siberian championship in Irkutsk, following the arrival of anti-doping officers to conduct testing. ‘The VFLA [Russian acronym for RusAF] asked the organisers of the competition for the official documents’, read a RusAF statement, which added that ‘illness’ was given as the main reason for withdrawal. ‘Currently, the federation has submit requests for relevant information from athletes who withdrew from the competition, from the relevant regional federations, ministries and the sports departments from the respective regions. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the disciplinary commission of the VFLA will make a decision and will present any guilty person to appropriate sanctions.’

Dmitry Shlyakhtin, RusAF President, said that the mass withdrawal did not come as a surprise. “Our suspicion is that not all regions have handled the doping situation – in some, it has intensified”, he told Russian news agency TASS. “But I cannot say that the athletes withdrew from the competition due to prohibited substances until the relevant documents have been received”.

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