© Copyright – 2020 – Athletics Illustrated
The chaos in Russian athletes continues, unabated—It seems to be their life.
The latest is the resignation of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) President Yevgeny Yurchenko after just six months on the job. The reason? RusAF failed to pay a $6-million fine (of $10-million USD) owed to World Athletics.
The fine was levied in lieu of being expelled altogether from World Athletics due to a long trail of corruption to do with alleged extortion, bribe-taking, drug cover-up, and data manipulation to name a few illegal activities that Russia is accused of.
“I hope that the newly elected head of the All-Russian Athletics Federation will be able to move forward in resolving almost five-year difficulties in relations with World Athletics, and will also ensure that sufficient funding is raised for the development of the Federation,” he said.
Recently, Russian athletes who were likely to compete internationally under a neutral flag had written an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin. They asked him to intervene in the issue. To no avail.
RusAF has a date to appeal their ongoing suspension that started in 2015 with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Nov. 2, 2020, speculation is that they are holding the money back to wait for the verdict of their appeal.
The latest issue with RusAF started with world champion high jumper Danil Lysenko, who could face up to an eight-year ban. This came after Russian officials apparently obstructed an investigation into the world indoor high jump champion.
Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s Yury Ganus told TASS, the Russian news agency that “all steps taken by the previous executive management at the RUSAF led to the fact that he would continue performing as an athlete only after an eight-year period.”
In early June Alexander Shustov received a four-year ban from the Athletics Integrity Unit, which was held up by CAS after testing positive for a banned substance.
Last year, the Russians delayed allowing the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) into the Moscow Laboratory—the centre of the Russian doping crisis—to extra athlete data dubbed Operation LIMS investigation.
Once investigators were allowed in, they found that the data had been manipulated.
In May, WADA revealed four more positive tests. WADA continues running tests at the lab.
To that point in time, apparently 61 suspect doping samples had been documented by the investigative team. Allegedly many more have been since.
By April, WADA completed 298 Russian athlete tests.
There doesn’t seem to be an end to the Russian doping crisis.