IAAF to Challenge Russian Federation over Timing of Doping Suspensions, Will Seek longer bans, by Bob Ramsak, Note by Larry Eder


Runblogrun.com supports robust drug testing. Let's make that plain and simple. The IAAF Drug bust of seven Russian athletes last summer was right out of the Bourne Supremacy. DNA tests, replacing dirty urine with clean urine, all kinds of subtrefuge. In the end, the IAAF did catch them. Bravo to the IAAF for seeking longer drug bans for such cheaters.



By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

As expected, track & field's international governing body has challenged the All Russia Athletics Federation in the Court of Arbitration or Sport over the timing of doping suspensions handed down to seven athletes who were found guilty of manipulating doping tests.

The group of suspended athletes, which includes two-time world 1500m champion Tatyana Tomashova and Yelena Soboleva, who lost her 2008 world indoor title and world record in the 1500 due to her doping bust, were found guilty of manipulating and substituting urine tests following a year-long investigation by the global governing body.

In October, the Russian federation backdated the start of the bans to April and May 2007, corresponding with the athletes' initial positive tests, contrary to IAAF rules which state that athletes are deemed ineligible from the date they were first provisionally suspended. The provisional suspensions were announced in late July on the eve of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

"It is unacceptable to the IAAF that these athletes who have committed serious and deliberate breaches of our anti-doping rules would receive an effective ban of approximately 9-10 months and see them eligible to compete again in the summer of 2009," said IAAF President Lamine Diack in a statement issued by the body today.

Diack added that the gravity of the offenses warrants a longer ban than the minimum two-year sanction.

"What is more," Diack said, "I consider the circumstances surrounding these cases warrants the IAAF to seek an extended ban over and above the minimum two year period."

The other athletes include Yulia Fomenko, who raced to world indoor silver this year behind Soboleva after winning the title in Moscow in 2006; Svetlana Cherkasova, who had 1:58.37 and 4:06.58 performances to her credit this season; discus thrower Daria Pishchalnikova, who took the silver medal at last year's world championships and won gold at the 2006 European championships; hammer thrower Gulfiya Khanafeyeva, the European silver medallist two years ago; and Olga Yegorova, the controversial 2001 world champion in the 5000m. Since the provisional suspensions were handed down, Yegorova has announced her retirement.

The year-long probe which netted the athletes involved DNA analysis for the first time.


Special thanks to Track Profile.com, written by Bob Ramsak. Shooting Star Media, Inc. is proud to sponsor TrackProfle.com and encourages subscriptions to Bob's fine serivce.

For more on our sport, please check http://www.american-trackandfield.com

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required