15 December 2021

Russian Triathlon Federation sanctioned for doping cases

The Russian Triathlon Federation (ФТР) has been sanctioned by World Triathlon, after three of its athletes were implicated in blood doping cases involving use of exogenous erythropoietin (EPO). World Triathlon announced that:

• The ФТР must reach an agreement with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) regarding testing of Russian athletes;
• An education plan for Russian athletes must be created;
• Prize money awarded to sanctioned athletes must be refunded;
• ФТР officials must resign from World Triathlon and European Triathlon positions;
• The ФТР cannot organise any World Triathlon or European Triathlon events until 2023;
• The ФТР must reimburse World Triathlon for costs of all Russian ADRVs;
• The ФТР must sanction any Russian Officials or Coaches that are involved with any of the ADRVs.

However, RUSADA has already reached a testing agreement with the ФТР on 11 October that includes an education plan, and the governance structures of World Triathlon and Europe Triathlon contain no Russian officials (click here and here to check). The World Triathlon calendar and European Triathlon calendar currently contain no events scheduled to be hosted by Russia.

World Triathlon sanctioned Alexander Bryukhankov (Александр Брюханков) and Igor Polyanski (Игорь Полянский) whilst a third athlete, Vladimir Turbayevskiy (Владимир Турбаевский), has been provisionally suspended. It is understood that neither Bryukhankov or Polyanski was awarded prize money for the events from which they have been disqualified.

Article 10.8.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code (click to open…)

No World Triathlon investigation was held into how either athlete came to test positive for EPO, as both admitted their anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) within 20 days of being charged. Under Article 10.8.1 of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (see right), such an admission allows a one year reduction to a four year ban without the need for a hearing.

Bryukhankov returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF – or ‘positive test’) for EPO at the European championships in June. Three months passed, during which Bryukhankov didn’t request the analysis of his B sample. After the deadline for B sample analysis expired, World Triathlon charged him with an ADRV in September. Because he now chose to admit the ADRV within 20 days of being charged, he received a one year reduction in his ban, which will end on 26 August 2024. 

The ФТР has pledged to investigate the ADRVs, including the Coaches who worked with the athletes. Both Bryukhankov and Polyanski were coached by Nicolas Romanov until 2016, although there is no suggestion that he is involved as he is no longer listed as a trainer certified by the ФТР. All coaching staff listed on the ФTP internet site were certified after 2017. It is not clear who coaches Bryukhankov and Polyanski at present. 

At the end of the 2017/18 season, it is understood Turbayevskiy was coached by V.A Ivanov, N.V Yatsenko, and S.L Yatsenko. None of these three coaches feature on the ФTP’s list of 55 verified triathlon coaches. It also appears that the Anti-Doping Strategy of the ФТР and its 2021 Monitoring Programme have been removed from its internet site.

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