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Russian runner Shubenkov: Therapeutic Use Exemptions system cannot be trusted

TUE is a term that applies to a system allowing an athlete to legally consume a drug from the list of banned substances to treat an illness

DOHA, October 4. /TASS, Artyom Kuznetsov/. Russian world champion in 110m hurdles Sergei Shubenkov told TASS he believes that the system of issuing TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemptions) to athletes cannot be trusted.

"Something must be done about the Therapeutic Use Exemptions," Shubenkov said in an interview with TASS. "This is wrong when one athlete can take a banned substance because he is ill, while the other cannot take it. It all cannot be trusted and arouses extra suspicions."

TUE is a term used by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency and it allows an athlete to legally consume a drug from the list of banned substances if an athlete is "required to take [the drug] to treat an illness or condition." A number of experts believe that many athletes evade penalties for doping abuse using TUE permits.

"We want to trust the system," Shubenkov, who is the 2015 IAAF world champion and the silver medalist of the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, continued. "But at the moment, everything that is connected with the doping control is not transparent. More information must be made public describing how the doping control is carried out."

"We need to switch to hard numbers — not to simply say that all are clean, good and awesome, but to report who and where passed a test and how many samples were collected," he said. "Obviously there is no need proceeding to the restroom with a camera, but this procedure should be made public."

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended RusAF’s (the All-Russia Athletics Federation) membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue. The IAAF Taskforce Group, led by Norwegian expert Rune Andersen, was set up to oversee Russia’s implementation of requirements for RusAF’s membership reinstatement with the IAAF.

Last week, IAAF ruled to keep in force the membership suspension of RusAF. The decision was made at the IAAF Council Meeting in Doha on September 23 and meant that Russian track and field athletes would be taking part in the 2019 IAAF World Championships, which is hosted by Qatar between September 27 and October 6, in the status of the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA).