MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Russian race walker Yevgeny Pantyushin has been disqualified for nine months over abuse of performance enhancing drugs adding another link to the chain of the recent high-profile doping scandals in Russian sports, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) reported on Wednesday.
Pantyushin’s blood test sample from September 13, 2014 proved positive for prohibited substances.
ARAF’s anti-doping commission decided to disqualify the athlete for the period of nine months starting from October 1, 2014 and until June 30, 2015. His performance results at the All-Russian Race Walking Tournament on September 13, 2014 have been annulled.
The ARAF was recently hit by a series of high-profile doping scandals. On January 30, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) suspended country’s titled athletes Tatiana Chernova and Yulia Zaripova over doping abuse.
Runner Zaripova, a 2011 world athletics champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, was disqualified for two years and six months from July 25, 2013. Chernova, a 2008 and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and 2011 world champion, was disqualified for two years from July 22, 2013.
RUSADA also announced in January 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 suspensions were based on irregularities in their biological passports, which were indicators to abuse of performance enhancing drugs.
Kaniskina, Kirdyapkin and Bakulin were each handed by RUSADA suspension terms of three years and two months, while Borchin was disqualified for the term of eight years. Kanaikin was disqualified for life. The suspension terms come into force as of October 15, 2012 meaning that Borchin will be ineligible to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
Borchin and Kaniskina are 2008 Beijing Olympics champions in 20 km Walk. Kaniskina is also a silver medalist of the 2012 Olympics in London in women’s 20 km Walk. Kirdyapkin won the Olympic gold in men’s 50 km Walk at the 2012 Summer Games in London. This is a second suspension penalty for Borchin, 28, as he was already subjected to a one-year disqualification in 2005 also on doping abuse charges.
Race walker Bakulin won his world champion’s title in men’s 50 km walk at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea’s Daegu.
In the wake of high-profile doping scandals, former ARAF president Valentin Balakhnichev, who had been heading the federation for over 20 years and was reelected for another four-year term in 2012, announced his resignation on February 17. He handed over his powers to run the ARAF to First Vice President Vadim Zelichenok, who is currently the acting president of the federation.
"By delegating the rights to manage the organization to my companion I can say that I am handing over the organization in a normal condition without any debts of problems," Balakhnichev said. "We have only one problem, and it is the problem of doping. I hope I will still be of use for athletics. There was also part of my guilt as well and everything that happened."