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Report claims IBU’s Resch covered up Russia’s Ustyugov doping breaches at Sochi Olympics

Abnormally high levels of hemoglobin were detected in the Russian biathlete’s doping sample in 2014 but additional testing did not follow
Former IBU Secretary General Nicole Resch AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson
Former IBU Secretary General Nicole Resch
© AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. /TASS/. The External Review Commission (ERC) of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) headed by Jonathan Taylor has concluded that former IBU Secretary General Nicole Resch was complicit in covering up doping violations by Russian biathlete Evgeny Ustyugov at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, says the commission report published by the IBU.

The report noted that abnormally high levels of hemoglobin were detected in Ustyugov’s doping sample taken on February 16, 2014 which required additional testing that could only be mandated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the IBU request. Consequently, his February 16 doping sample was marked as invalid in the ADAMS control system, but the IBU did not request additional testing, choosing to only send a letter to the Sochi laboratory about the invalid sample.

According to Resch, she sought help of the IOC to determine the reason behind the invalid status of Ustyugov’s sample, but the commission failed to find proof of such a request being made. The ERC instead identified that Resch did not raise the issue at IBU Executive Committee meetings in Sochi.

The news about Ustyugov’s invalid sample broke out in October 2015 following an audit ordered by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) when it discovered 10 doping samples of Russian biathletes marked as invalid. WADA later identified that there were no reasons to declare these samples as invalid, prompting an additional probe into Ustyugov.

In late October 2020, the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS ADD) found Ustyugov guilty of breaching anti-doping rules and annulled his results between Janaury 24, 2010 and the end of the 2013/14 season. It means that Ustyugov can be stripped of his gold medal won in mass start and bronze medal in relay at the Vancouver Olympics as well as the Sochi Olympics relay gold medal. Ustyugov appealed the CAS ADD decision with the Swiss Federal Tribunal.