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Russian athletics chief urges athletes against working with doping-banned coaches

April 28, 19:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In 2015, the WADA Independent Commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse

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MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. Russian track and field athletes must avoid working with coaches, who have been disqualified over their involvement in violations of anti-doping regulations, Dmitry Shkyakhtin, the president of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), told TASS on Saturday.

"The ARAF is involved in a grand work to completely reform the Russian track and field athletics sports with the main focus on the problems of anti-doping rules violations," Shlaykhtin said in an interview with TASS. "This world is aimed solely to reinstate the ARAF’s membership and to lift ban on the participation of our athletes in international tournaments."

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) sent to the ARAF on April 25 a note requesting explanations, why Coach Viktor Chegin, who was earlier banned for life over anti-doping rules violations, was present during a training session of Russian race walkers in Kyrgyzstan’s Karakole.

"We keep on working achieving certain results, but we are repeatedly encountering such cases," Shlyakhtin said. "I cannot say that we are throwing in the towel, but I would like to say that until our athletes and coaches change their mentality there will be no result."

In 2015, the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation into the activities of the ARAF, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the RUSADA and the Russian Sports Ministry.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances.

The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA was eventually suspended. The IAAF in turn decided to suspend ARAF’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and put forward a host of criteria, which the Russian ruling body of track and field sports was obliged to implement in order to restore its membership in the global federation.

The IAAF, however, permitted clean athletes from Russia to participate in the international tournaments under the neutral status until the membership of the ARAF was reinstated.

Rune Andersen, the head of the Independent IAAF Taskforce group, said in early March that in case the ARAF failed to implement the criteria set out in the Taskforce group’s Road Map, Russia’s governing track and field athletics body could be expelled completely from the IAAF.

The IAAF Taskforce was set up with the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the ARAF’s obligations regarding its currently suspended membership reinstatement with the International Association of Athletics Federations.

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