24 September 2019

Russian inquiry into illegal blood transfusions nearing completion

A Russian regional commission of inquiry into allegations that Chuvash Republic (Чува́шская Респу́блика) officials assisted in covering up use of blood transfusions by a sports school is nearing completion. Yuri Ganus (Юрия Гануса), Director General of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), told L’Equipe that the agency’s own investigations had confirmed 33 cases involving use of illegal blood transfusions, with a possible 69 cases in total.

Ivan Motorin (Иван Моторин), Governor of the Chuvash Republic, formed an independent working group in August to investigate the allegations. However, although RUSADA welcomed the move, it voiced concerns that the group had been formed by the Republic, and launched its own investigation. The independent working group, understood to be headed by sports lawyer Artem Patseva (ртем пацева), will present its findings in October.

In June, RUSADA found that from 2017 to 2019, blood transfusions were used by athletes and staff in a Chuvash sports school. It opened cases against 33 athletes following interviews with 140 people. RUSADA reported that 18 cases involve athletics (one is understood to be a whereabouts failure); five involve cycling; three involve sambo; two involve biathlon; and boxing, cross-country skiing, gymnastics, wrestling, and deaf sport (athletics) reported one case each.

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