The Russian Walking Saga continues... from EME News

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The saga of Russian Race Walkers continues. This info was compiled by EME News. This is Russia's "Lance Armstrong" moment. Race Walking is a prized tradition in Russia and their performances have been well received and celebrated in Russia. 

The clamp down in Russia, not only on walkers, but various other athletes is an indication, I believe, of how dire the situation is. Leadership in the sport understands what is at stake here, with our sport. 

Some of the greatest stars of Russian race walking have been given bans from three years, two months, to eight years to life time. Read the series of updates below from EME News. 

Bakulin_Sergey1-WalkCup12.jpg
Sergey Bakulin, photo by PhotoRun.net



Russian walking saga

MOSCOW (RUS): Five Russian race-walkers, including three Olympic gold medalists, have been banned by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency due to anomalies in their respective biological passports, inform AP.  2012 50 km Olympic champion Sergey Kirdyapkin, 2008 Olympic 20 km champion Olga Kaniskina, and 2011 50 km World champion Sergey Bakulin have all received bans of three years and two months. All three doping cases have been backdated to late 2012. 2008 Olympic 20 km champion Valery Borchin has been banned for eight years, from October 2008, for a second doping offense, while 2011 World medallist Vladimir Kanaykin was banned for life for a repeat offense. Kaniskina and Borchin will lose their World 20 km titles from 2009 and 2011, while Kirdyapkin will lose his World 50 km title from 2009 and also World Cup win 2012. Bakulin will lose 2011 50 km gold and Kanaykin will also lose his world 20 km silver from 2011. The athletes that look set to be upgraded to World champions are Trond Nymark from Norway (50 km, 2009), Wang Hao of China (20 km men, 2009), Olive Loughnane of Ireland (20 km women, 2009), Luis Fernando Lopez of Colombia (20 km men, 2011), Denis Nizhegorodov (50 km men, 2011) and Liu Hong of China (20 km women, 2011).

MOSCOW (RUS): All-Russian athletics federation (ARAF) made official statement after five top Russian race walkers Kaniskina, Kirdyapkin, Bakulin, Borchin and Kanaykin have been banned. ARAF president Valentin Balakhnichev noted that federation would react on its work shortcomings and would make some changes in its structure. "In this case ARAF has to state that we had serious errors in our work, which have caused harm to Russian athletics. Federation never motivated, encouraged or suggested to use doping... but have not always acted systematically and consistently... We must respond to the shortcomings in our work and draw the structural changes," Balakhnichev said in his statement at Rusathletics.com. 

MOSCOW (RUS): Deputy director of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA Nikita Kamayev said that all five banned Russian race walkers (Kaniskina, Kirdyapkin, Borchin, Bakulin and Kanaykin) were informed about possible violations of doping rules some time ago. That is why he cannot understand the sense of appointment of Olga Kaniskina on the position of Saransk race walk school director in the end of December. Kamayev underlined that now Kaniskina has no right to continue her work. "RUSADA continues investigation (about Saransk center)... because all banned athletes had the same coach - well-known Viktor Chegin," said Kamayev to Sport-Express newspaper. 

MOSCOW (RUS): Sport minister of Russia Vitaliy Mutko recommended to All-Russian athletics federation to think about personnel and structural changes because of new five bans of top Russian walkers. "We're troubled with what is happening in All-Russian athletics federation. We asked ARAF management many times to restore order in their 'household'. This situation is contrary to our national anti-doping policy, for building which we have done a lot...  After everything that happened, I turned to ARAF urging them to think about personnel and structural changes in the national athletics team. Responsible specialists from Saransk federal preparation center and Mordvinian sport leaders should pay the penalty as well. Olympic race walking training center needs to be transferred under direct control of the Sport Ministry of Russia," Mutko underlined. 

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