7th February 2019

Russian race walker sanctioned with three year ban

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has confirmed that Russian race walker Anisya Kirdyapkina has been sanctioned with a three year ban, after the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) announced the sanction today. ‘The final award in the procedure CAS 2017/O/5398 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) v. Russian Athletic Federation (RusAF) & Anisya Kirdyapkina was issued on 1 February’, wrote a CAS spokesperson in an email. The decision has yet to be announced or published on the CAS internet site.

The CAS confirmed that Kirdyapkina’s three year ban will run from 27 July 2017 until 26 July 2020, and her results from 25 February 2011 until 11 October 2013 will be annulled. This will mean that she loses Silver medals won at the IAAF’s Daegu 2011 World Championships and Moscow 2013 World Championships. It will also mean that she will lose a Gold medal won in the 20km race walk at the 2013 Kazan Summer Universiade, as will the Russian 20km race walk team, of which she was a member. The RusAF statement revealed that she was disqualified as a result of blood anomalies in her Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). 

Kirdyapkina was married to Sergey Kirdyapkin, who in March 2016 was stripped of his London 2012 Gold medal in the 50km race walk, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld an appeal by the IAAF, which argued that selective disqualification of the results had allowed him to keep his Gold. Whilst husband and wife, both were coached by Viktor Chegin from 2014 onwards. Kirdyapkina re-married in 2016 and now takes the name Makolova.

Viktor Chegin was sanctioned with a lifetime ban by RusAF in March 2016. Yet he continued to work with Russian race walkers until April last year.

He was filmed training Russian athletes on 27 April 2016 in the town of Adler, 10km from Sochi. Olga Kaniskina, Sergey Kirdyapkin and Elena Lashmanova, who all signed an extraordinary letter of support for Chegin earlier that month, were pictured at the training session. 

In May last year, the IAAF revoked the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) status of Klavdiya Afanasyeva, Olga Eliseeva, Yuliya Lipanova, Sergey Sharypov and Sergey Shirobokov, after finding that they had been coached by Chegin at an April 2018 training camp in Karakol in the Kyrgyz Republic.  The five race walkers were prohibited from entering the 2018 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Taicang, China.

Over 20 athletes trained by Chegin between 2005 and 2015 are understood to have been disqualified for doping. Chegin was provisionally suspended by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on 25 August 2014, yet it did not launch an official investigation until 15 July 2015. RusAF did not remove him as Russia’s race walking coach until 16 July 2015.

Chegin was also  spotted coaching athletes at the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zurich in August 2014, whilst provisionally suspended by RUSADA. Several of Chegin’s suspended athletes – including Sergey Baulkin, Elena Lashmanova and Ekaterina Medvedeva – were spotted competing at the Mordovian race walking championships in December 2014. RusAF attempted to claim that the photos were from a 2012 event, however detective work by Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee uncovered that the shoes and uniforms worn in the photos were not available in 2012.

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