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Russian sports minister hints on another senior official’s resignation amid doping scandal

February 03, 2015, 16:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Six Russian race walkers were recently suspended over doping issues and all of them were from the Olympic Race Walking Training Center, located in Mordovia’s capital of Saransk
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© EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUN

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Vladimir Kireyev, the minister of sport and physical culture of the Russian republic of Mordovia, is likely to resign from his post amid the recent high-profile doping scandal, which involved titled national athletes in race walk, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Tuesday.

Six Russian race walkers were recently suspended over doping issues and all of them were from the Olympic Race Walking Training Center, located in Mordovia’s capital of Saransk. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) also dismissed Viktor Kolesnikov from the post of the center’s director over doping-related charges.

"The sports minister (of Mordovia) must be held responsible for the recent events," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "There are still issues that must be settled. One of the remaining issues is why they recently held a championship allowing suspended athletes to compete. I still do not know whether he (Kireyev) will continue his work or not."

Russia first fell in the focus of a doping scandal in early December, when German television aired a series of documentaries about alleged doping abuse by Russian athletes. The ARD’s two-part documentary, entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case) claimed that some Russian athletes had systematically taken banned substances on instructions from their coaches.

The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) was hit by another high-profile doping scandal in mid-January with the involvement of titled Russian athletes.

RUSADA announced on January 20 that Olympic Champions in race walk Valery Borchin, Sergey Kirdyapkin and Olga Kaniskina as well as Russia’s 2011 World Champion Sergey Bakulin and 2011 World Championship silver medalist Vladimir Kanaikin were suspended after they were found guilty of violating anti-doping regulations.

Their suspension was based on irregularities in their biological passports, which were indicators to abuse of performance enhancing drugs.

All the mentioned-above athletes were from the Olympic Race Walking Training Center in Saransk.

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