Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Russian Athletics misses deadline to pay doping fine




Russian Athletics misses deadline to pay doping fine

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Russian Minister of Sport Oleg Matytsin attends a conference on Russia’s athletic federation. AFP

Russian Athletics misses deadline to pay doping fine

Russia's Athletics Federation (Rusaf) missed the deadline on Wednesday to pay part of a million-dollar fine handed down by the world athletics body, jeopardising some Russian athletes’ hopes of competing internationally.

“Rusaf does not have the money to pay the fines imposed by World Athletics,” the federation’s president Yevgeny Yurchenko told state news agency TASS.

He dismissed the federation’s “numerous critics”, saying his organisation “did everything possible” to source the money and pay the sum.

Russia was given the July 1 deadline to pay $5 million – part of a fine imposed for breaching anti-doping rules – in order for the country’s clean athletes to be able to qualify to compete under a neutral flag.

The approval process for neutral athletes was put on hold last November after World Athletics said Rusaf had obstructed ongoing anti-doping investigations.

Russia has been fighting for readmission to World Athletics since it was banned in 2015 over repeated doping scandals.

Russia’s athletes missed the 2016 Olympic Games over the ban and were anticipating the Wednesday deadline with concerns over their participation in the Tokyo Games, now rescheduled for August next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement published on social media, Rusaf said the federation’s presidium held a meeting on Tuesday, but did not specify whether the fine was discussed.

Athletes reacted to the post with exasperation and criticism. Pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova commented on Instagram with a face-palm emoticon, while heptathlete Artem Makarenko posted a picture of a coffin.

World champion high jumper Maria Lasitskene blasted Yurchenko, who was elected president in February on the promise to overhaul the federation and convince World Athletics to allow clean Russian athletes to compete.

Yurchenko “betrayed clean athletes”, said Lasitskene, who has emerged as a leading Rusaf critic and voice for clean Russian athletes.

Lasitskene, Sidorova and hurdler Sergey Shubenkov last month wrote a letter to President Vladimir Putin, urging him to take note of the “catastrophic situation” in Russian athletics.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.