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ARAF warns coaches will be punished if their athletes caught taking doping

January 24, 2017, 21:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. The All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) has warned on Tuesday that it will punish coaches who encourage athletes to take banned substances.

Germany’s ARD TV channel on Sunday aired an interview of Russian track and field athlete Andrey Dmitriev with Hajo Seppelt, a journalist known for reports on high-profile doping scandals in Russian athletics. The Russian athlete claimed that Russian coaches, in particular Sergei Yepishin and Vladimir Kazarin, continued their practices of encouraging the athletes to take doping and high results of athletes rested on the abuse of banned performance enhancing substances.

"The federation has analyzed how many violations of anti-doping rules were exposed in each coaching group," ARAF said in press statement. "The Russian ministry of sport and the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA will be informed about the results of this check. It has been decided that each subsequent doping abuse case will be thoroughly investigated and sanctions will be imposed not only on an athlete concerned but to his or her coach as well."

The ARD’s first two-part documentary, entitled Geheimsache Doping (Secret Doping Case), was released in December of 2014 and claimed that Russian athletes systematically took banned substances on instructions from their coaches.

On August 1, 2015, ARD released another documentary "Doping - Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics." The film claimed that ARD and British newspaper The Sunday Times had obtained a leaked database belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations, which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012.

ARD further alleged that a third of medals (146, including 55 golds) in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests but none of these athletes have been stripped of their medals.

On March 6, 2016, Seppelt premiered the third part of his documentaries, entitled "Doping Top Secret: Russia's Red Herrings." In that episode he claimed that the Russian athletics authorities were not taking sufficient steps to clean the sports from doping.

The fourth and the latest part of the German journalist’s documentaries on the allegedly widespread doping abuse in Russia was broadcast on June 8, 2016 and was titled "Doping Secret: Showdown for Russia."

The series of German documentaries prompted a reaction from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which ruled in early 2015 to set up an independent body to investigate the issue.

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.

Eventually, the IAAF decided to suspend the ARAF’s membership in the global governing body of athletics and the entire Russian track and field team, with the only exception of long jumper Darya Klishina, was barred from taking part in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

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