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Russia’s racewalking coach denies accusations of ARD TV channel

June 09, 13:24 UTC+3
The authors of a new documentary on doping abuse in Russian sports claim that race-walking coach Viktor Chegin keeps working with Russian athletes after being banned for life
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Viktor Chegin

Viktor Chegin

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. Russia’s disqualified racewalking coach Viktor Chegin (former head of the Olympic Training Center in the Republic of Mordovia disqualified for life) has refuted claims by German ARD TV channel that he worked with Russian athletes.

Chegin told TASS on Thursday: "It looks like a serious TV channel but it broadcasts complete nonsense. It is just ridiculous, and this film has only evoked a smile. I thought that more serious people work at such channels. I was not there in April, I am doing business now that is not connected with sports. This is just not serious while people really think that this happened, they call and ask whether I really sat in the car. But I was not there at all."

Disqualified racewalking coach Viktor Chegin has no official job

According to Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, Viktor Chegin  has no official job in track and field athletics.

The German TV broadcaster ARD’s documentary aired late Wednesday evening claimed that Chegin was still coaching Russian athletes.

"Chegin does not do coaching these days. He is a specialist with tremendous experience. He has thousands of disciples. Possibly, he makes phone calls to some of them once in a while. But he does not have an official job," Mutko said.

ARD journalist Hajo Zepelt claims in the film Russia’s anonymous track-and-field woman athlete had told him Chegin was currently in Adler, where Russia’s leading racewalkers were in training. Zeppelt’s informer named Sergey went there with a camera to film some footage of a minibus with tinted windows. Zeppelt claimed the man that could be seen inside was Chegin.

Then the German journalist met with an anonymous informer who claimed he had seen Chegin in the minibus and that he was still training track-and-field athletes. In conclusion Zeppelt met with an expert who once worked for German secret services and compared a photograph of Chegin with the image in the available footage. On that basis he made the conclusion that judging by the silhouette of the face seen inside the van the man could be identified as Chegin with 95%-99% certainty.

The footage was reportedly filmed on April 27, while the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) declared Chegin’s lifetime disqualification on March 25.

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