Skip to main content

Olympics Russian anti-doping chief calls for dismissal of athletics federation head over doping allegations

In a five-page letter addressed to Russian Olympic Committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov, RUSADA director Yuri Ganus proposed the dismissal of the federation’s senior officials.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press

Russia’s anti-doping chief has called for the dismissal of the head of the country’s suspended athletics federation as part of a proposal to ensure all Russian athletes can compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a letter seen by Reuters on Monday showed.

In the five-page letter addressed to Russian Olympic Committee president Stanislav Pozdnyakov, RUSADA director Yuri Ganus proposed the dismissal of the federation’s senior officials, including its president Dmitry Shlyakhtin, and all national team athletics coaches, among several other measures.

“Given that there is critically little time left until the start of the 2020 Olympics, and there is much to do in co-ordination with [International Association of Athletics Federation] IAAF, work toward the transformation of the federation requires an immediate resolution,” Ganus wrote.

Story continues below advertisement

RUSADA and Russia’s athletics federation were suspended after a 2015 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics.

RUSADA was reinstated last year by WADA, angering a string of sports bodies and athletes around the world.

Ganus also called for the creation of an international work group in which Russian and foreign experts would help bring the federation back into the IAAF’s fold.

He also called for the dismissal of officials at sports schools and other training centres tied to the doping scandal, as well as officials who have served doping bans.

“The Russian athletics federation needs real change,” Ganus wrote. “We have to stop deceiving not only all those around us, but ourselves first and foremost.”

Russia’s athletics federation did not immediately reply to a request for comment, while Shlyakhtin could not be reached for comment.

The IAAF is set to review Russia’s status at its council meeting next month.

Despite the athletics federation being banned, some Russians – including twice world champion high jumper Mariya Lasitskene – have been cleared to compete internationally after demonstrating they are training in a doping-free environment.

Russia was banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for alleged state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

However, some Russian athletes with no history of doping were cleared to compete as neutrals.

The IOC chose not to ban all Russian athletes from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after a WADA-commissioned report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren revealed a state-backed doping program across many sports.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter